“African Industrialization Day": Better Trade?
Marking “African Industrialization Day,” Annan Calls For
Ahead of African Industrialization Day, to be observed on Sunday, 20 November, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is calling for the elimination of trade barriers and the improvement of the African business environment.
“Trade is one of globalization’s most visible manifestations. It has proven its ability to deliver jobs and wealth for some,” Mr. Annan said in a statement. “Today, on Africa Industrialization Day, let us commit to creating a trading system in which jobs and wealth flow not just to the few, but to the many.”
As the Day’s theme this year is “Generating African Competitiveness for Sustainable Market Access,” Mr. Annan noted that open and equitable trade was a necessary, but not sufficient condition for growth in African exports.
“It is equally important that African countries achieve the technological, social and economic capacity to take advantage of increased market access,” he said, pointing to the need for good governance, educational systems, enhanced regional integration and other elements of a business-friendly environment that encourages individual initiative and rewards entrepreneurship.