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UNIDO calls for infrastructural development in Nigeria
THE Director-General, United Nations Indus-trial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Kandeh Yumkella, has pointed out that the growing need for agro-industries and economic diversification are key factors that can lead Nigeria and other African countries to economic prosperity.
Speaking at an Africa Caucus Meeting in Congo, recently, the Director-General noted that agriculture was the most important sector of the African economy, adding that it should be the continent’s driving engine out of poverty.
He added that agriculture accounted for 65 per cent of the continent’s employment and 75 per cent of its domestic trade.
“Africa is also urbani-sing at a fast rate. In order to turn bright prospects into employ-ment opportunities for its young people, Africa needs to embrace econ-omic diversification.”
Yumkella said it was necessary to boost agricultural productivity in the continent in order to achieve sustainable industrial and agribusiness development as a means of wealth and job creation.
“The transformation of agricultural raw materials into industrial products depends increasingly on the capacity of African entrepreneurs to participate and compete in global, regional and local value chains.
“Accordingly, African agribusiness value chains will have to adapt to changing market conditions, improve efficiency and strive to meet consumer requirements in a competitive global trade system.”
He said high perfor-mance agribusiness value chains needed to be based on processes that guarantee the highest product quality in a challenging global marketplace.
“Africa needs new learning and innovative systems involving regional cooperation, new types of partner-ships between farmers, sellers, investors and researchers, and the right incentives and public actions that crowd-in rather than crowd-out private investment,” he said.
Yumkella urged African countries to strategically invest in transport, infra-structure, access to energy and water, ICTs and management efficiency in order for agribusiness to thrive.Share