APO News from Africa:
H. E. the Minister of Local Development, Mr. Hesham el Sherif, along with UNIDO Representative, Giovanna Ceglie and Ambassador Said Hindam, Assistant Foreign Minister as well as the Governor of Sohag Mr. Ayman Abdelmoneim signed the Project “Inclusive and Sustainable Local Economic Development in Upper Egypt – Sohag” in attendance of the Ambassador of Switzerland H.E. Markus Leitner. The Minister highlighted “this UNIDO approach is exactly what Egypt needs, and we need to work together to upscale such initiatives”. Ambassador Leitner assured: “this is not our first project with UNIDO in Egypt and it will definitely not be our last”.
In line with the national priorities to create employment opportunities, the three year project, funded by the Government of Switzerland with a budget of around 1.2 Million USD will work on improving the lives of at least 1000 families in two districts of Sohag. On one axis the project will be supporting the start up of new business and job creation, increasing productivity and profitability of small businesses and farms and on another axis it will work closely with the local government to accelerate participatory planning of sectoral development.
The project builds on the successful scalable business models of the Hayat project in Minya and draws from its lessons leant, lead by UNIDO as an implementing partners. UNIDO has been supporting Egypt’s progress towards the achievement of social and economic growth, through the promotion of industrial development for employment generation and environmental sustainability. Leveraging its extensive experience worldwide, UNIDO responds to development challenges in Egypt by providing technical expertise and capacity-building measures to trigger a range of environmental, social and economic benefits, unleashing the potential for inclusive and sustainable industrial development.
Distributed by APO on behalf of UN Information Centre in Cairo.
All is set for the launch of the Economic Report on Africa (ERA2017) which examines how the continent can accelerate industrialization as a vehicle for Africa’s structural transformation by harnessing opportunities arising from rapid urbanization.
The annual ERA is a flagship publication of the ECA. The 2017 edition is titled; “Urbanization and Industrialization for Africa’s Transformation.”
“It is imperative that as a continent we start looking at the opportunities being created by the rapid urbanization that is currently ongoing,” said Acting ECA Executive Secretary, Abdalla Hamdok.
“This flagship publication will help our policymakers identify and analyze the drivers, enablers and policy levers that will strengthen linkages between urban growth and industrial growth.”
Most of Africa is still predominantly rural but the situation is changing rapidly, according to the report. It is estimated that by 2035, 50 percent of Africa’s population will live in urban areas.
The report stresses that African countries, under the right policy frameworks anchored in national development planning, can leverage the momentum of urbanization to accelerate industrialization for a more prosperous and equitable future for Africans.
“The ECA, through ERA2017 is urging our Member States to leverage the force of urbanization to drive and enable industrial development,” Mr. Hamdok said.
The report thus examines how governments can harness the opportunities arising from rapid urbanization to speed up industrialization and accelerate structural transformation on the continent.
There are 11 country case studies in the report detailing practical findings on how Ethiopia, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, Sudan, Mozambique, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and Cameroon are managing rapid urbanization.
“The main issue is that Africa is urbanizing very fast and of course there are challenges that come with that but more so we are seeing opportunities for growth because the long-term growth outlook for the continent remains promising despite the recent slowdown of the global economy,” Mr. Hamdok said.
High level participants at the launch will discuss and share the key findings of ERA2017 with the case studies being presented to support the rationale of linking industrialization and urbanization processes and frameworks for the continent to achieve inclusive and sustainable structural transformation.
The 2016 Economic Report on Africa urged Africa to take the green route to industrialization with ECA experts saying green industrialization is an opportunity for the continent to achieve sustainable growth.
Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
MONUSCO expresses grave concern over reports of renewed violence in Kananga between 14 and 17 March 2017. The Mission has received credible reports of high numbers of deaths in the context of clashes between Kamwina Nsapu militiamen and members of the Congolese security forces.
MONUSCO is concerned by the attacks of Kamwina Nsapu militiamen against State institutions and symbols, but also the disproportionate use of force by the security and defense forces and the targeting of civilians, including women and children. During the night of 14 to 15 March 2017, operations by the security forces in Kananga resulted in numerous deaths.
MONUSCO also expresses serious concern over restrictions placed on its freedom of movement by security forces in Kananga in recent days, which restrict the ability of the Mission to exercise its mandate.
“I call for the immediate cessation of violence in Kananga and the Kasai region, and denounce the use of disproportionate force”, said Maman Sambo Sidikou, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the DRC. “I also call for an immediate halt on restrictions on the freedom of movement on MONUSCO, which impede on the ability of the Mission to discharge its full mandate in the DRC. I further call for an investigation by the appropriate authorities into events in Kananga in recent days, and that those found responsible for any human rights violations be held fully accountable.”
Distributed by APO on behalf of Mission de l’Organisation des Nations unies en République démocratique du Congo (MONUSCO).