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Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa Initiative Begins Planning

November 30, 2017

In mid-2016, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared the period 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDAIII). An event held on November 30 alongside the seventeenth session of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) General Conference focused on plans to 'operationalize' IDDA III.

UNIDO was the organization tasked with leading the implementation of the Decade, in collaboration with a range of partners.

This new meeting capitalized on an earlier high-level event on moving “from political commitment to actions on the ground”, co-organized by UNIDO and partners, held in September on the margins of the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York.

Taking stock of the progress made so far by various stakeholders, the IDDAIII side event, entitled “Helping Africa leapfrog its industrial development” also provided a platform to discuss key elements and best practices for partnerships to enhance Africa’s industrialization within the IDDA III framework.

Three panel discussions covering policy imperatives, strategies, and partnerships and resource mobilization for the IDDA III implementation were moderated by BBC journalist, Yalda Hakim. The event was attended by a wide range of high-level stakeholders, including Ministers of Industry, Heads of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and representatives of the core implementing partners, including the African Union in Cote d'Ivoire, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA.) Heads and representatives of other UN agencies and Development Finance Institutions also attended.

Speaking at the opening of the event, UNIDO Director General, LI Yong, said that, “through a blend of existing, new and innovative development intervention measures, IDDA III is expected to become a game changer, which can radically transform the structure of Africa’s economies and jumpstart them towards industrialization.”

The importance of global value chains and strengthening SMEs was highlighted during the discussions, as well as the key role of data and the need for results-based management of inclusive and sustainable industrialization in Africa.

The creation of decent jobs, broad-based and dynamic partnerships, and regional integration are all central to IDDA III, which seeks to lift the level of development of African economies through sustainable structural transformation. Only by “working hand in hand” will this transformation become a reality.

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