The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are hosting the Africa Day on 22 November in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Senior members of the Ethiopian government will join experts and policymakers from across Africa and Europe to lead discussions on opportunities for growth and diversification. They will explore ways to break down barriers and support the inclusive industrialisation of Africa.
At the core of the Africa Day agenda is how industry in Africa can further attract investment and more diverse markets in Europe and Africa itself. Key to the discussions will be how to offer more job creating opportunities for young people and women – particularly in the field of entrepreneurship.
The event will gather chief executives, financial officers, government representatives, entrepreneurs, academics, nongovernmental groups and civil society leaders from Africa and Europe and offer them a platform to build new partnerships, reinforce old ones and find new ways to help the continent.
Ahead of the EIB Africa Day, EIB President Werner Hoyer – who will be signing new agreements and loans in Addis to support job creating initiatives – said: “Africa is transforming itself. It is a continent with some of the world’s fastest growing economies, with the youngest population of any continent, hugely dynamic and full of potential. Africa also has the unique opportunity of leapfrogging many developed economies in the use of modern technology, like mobile payment or the use of off-grid renewable energy solutions. Alongside our African and international partners such as UNIDO, at the EIB – as the Bank of the EU- we want to foster financial inclusion and support growth of the private sector, from the micro and small businesses to the larger ones. African companies are often underserved by financial markets. We want to improve their access to finance, promote the use of sustainable energy sources and improve the infrastructure that companies need to thrive, thereby helping to create jobs and business opportunities, namely for women and young entrepreneurs. This will reduce poverty and generate lasting benefits for the population.”
UNIDO Director General LI Yong said: “Africa’s manufacturing has been expanding in absolute terms and growing faster than the world average. Accelerating the achievement of inclusive and sustainable industrial development requires a move from business as usual to innovative and audacious business models and approaches. Enhancing partnerships remains essential to further advance industrialization in Africa and make the most of the many opportunities on the continent. UNIDO is deepening cooperation with partners such as EIB to enhance the synergies of resources and knowledge in key areas. A vibrant global partnership will not only ensure the successful operationalization of IDDA III but will also enable the region to draw on the benefits from the timely implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”
The EIB and UNIDO have enhanced cooperation to share good practices and expertise in relevant sectors, most notably resilient infrastructure, sustainable industrialisation and innovation. Both institutions are working together to help achieve several of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to end poverty, support decent work and economic growth, as well as climate action.
Source: European Investment Bank