Africa’s Must-Do Decade
A third challenge is climate change, which weighs heavily on countries where agriculture is still the primary sector for employment. To confront the threat, Africa will need to develop and adopt green technologies, while channeling more investment into resource efficiency and clean energy. With the right investments, African countries can reduce the cost of delivering power to rural areas, and contribute to global efforts to reduce emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.
In short, Africa must industrialize, and it must do so in a socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable manner. Given that most previous efforts at sustainable development in Africa have failed, there is a clear need for a new approach: a broad-based, country-owned process that taps financial and non-financial resources, promotes regional integration, and fosters cooperation among Africa’s development partners.
As it happens, the United Nations General Assembly has declared 2016-2025 to be the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa. During IDDA III, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, which I lead, will spearhead the new approach to sustainable development sketched above. UNIDO has put its full support behind partnerships for mobilizing resources, and is offering a tested model for African countries to follow: the Programme for Country Partnership (PCP).
UNIDO’s PCP provides countries with technical assistance, policy advice, and investments to help them design and implement industrialization strategies. The program was launched in 2014, and is already being successfully implemented in two African countries – Ethiopia and Senegal – and in Peru.
The PCP provides a multi-stakeholder partnership model that can be adapted to each country’s national development agenda. It is designed to work in synergy with governments and their partners’ ongoing development efforts, while funneling additional funds and investments toward sectors that have high growth potential and are important to a particular government’s industrial-development agenda. Priority sectors are typically chosen for their job-creation, investment, and export potential, and for their access to necessary raw materials.
The PCP approach is designed to maximize the impact of all partner programs and projects that are relevant to industrial development. To that end, strategic partnerships with financial institutions and the business sector are particularly important. With these in place, African countries can marshal additional resources for infrastructure, innovation, expertise, and new technologies.
UNIDO’s goal is to make the PCP model the mainstream approach for all African countries. We stand ready to support Africa on its path to inclusive and sustainable industrial development – during IDDA III and beyond.
Copyright: Project Syndicate 2017 – Africa’s Must-Do Decade