UN, AU endorse conference on African development

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that the Tokyo Conference on African Development (TICAD) had the potential to fast-track the development of African continent.

Ban’s message to the sixth edition of the ongoing TICAD in Nairobi, is contained in a statement issued by the Japanese Embassy in Abuja on Sunday.

According to Ban, the African continent deserves development like any other part of the world.

“The UN will continue to support TICAD partnership and all initiatives designed to fulfill the aspirations of the people of Africa.

“What is good for Africa is good for the world,” the UN chief said.

He said that a key programme of the Fifth TICAD which held in Yokohama in 2013 focuses on the African Business Education Initiative for Youth and the One Stop Border Post Project.

The UN Scribe said TICAD V summit contributed significantly to the incorporation of African perspectives in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted in 2015 by the UN.

He noted that in 2015, the African Union also adopted the Agenda 2063. “These two agendas are complementary and mutually reinforcing.

“Implemented together, they promise to lay the foundations for a prosperous and peaceful Africa that can provide dignity and opportunity to the entire continent’s people.”

In her message, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr Nkosazana Zuma commended the determination of Japan to advance the process of attaining African development.

Zuma expressed the hope that TICAD process would further contribute to the realisation of the African Union Age 2063.

“Agenda 2063 is a long-term development goal created by the African people for Africa.

“Africa is ready to closely work with Japan in order to promote a mutual beneficial relationship and ensure that African aspirations for the ‘Africa we want’ are fully realised.”

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, Ms Helen Clark, also in her message said TICAD had played a pivotal role in advocating and mobilising support for African development.

According to her, TICAD’s advocacy and mobilisation of support for African development are guided by the principle of African ownership and international partnership.

In his message, Jim Kim, the President of World Bank Group, said TICAD VI was an important opportunity to focus on some of the most critical issues facing Africa.

Kim said one of the most critical issues facing Africa was the collapse of commodity prices and the global economic slowdown.

“Increased levels of private investment and greater private sector activity will be essential to create employment and help close the continent’s infrastructure gap,” he said.

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