The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) says Africa needs more large-scale investment from other continents to boost economic productivity in the continent.
Mr Jean-Paul Adam, Director for Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management, UNECA, said this at the closing of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development in Niamey, Niger.
The theme of the forum was “Accelerating development and diffusion of emerging technologies for a green, inclusive and resilient Africa.”
Adam said, “There has been a lot of realism in saying what Africa needs to do and we have been very clear where to invest.
“Even when we raise more money by Africans themselves, the continent still needs support from outside the continent and we need the investment to come in large scale.
“Less than two per cent of global investments in renewable energy has happened in Africa over the past two decades.
“If we accelerate that investment in energy, for example, in Africa, that is a win-win.
“It brings value for the investor and it transforms Africa.”
He said the forum was honest as African countries acknowledged they needed to mobilise domestic resources themselves and not be dependent on outside resources.
More so, he said, the forum aimed to create a platform for acceleration for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“And by focusing on a few SDGs, there has been an attempt to identify those catalysts that allow further acceleration.
“The first catalyst is the availability of finance and the UN Secretary-General outlined the principle of SDG stimulus.
“We have to dramatically increase the amount of money towards the SDGs framework to attract investment,” the director said.
He spoke of the need for a strong policy to attract investment.
“There needs to be a strong policy framework, for example, with energy. If the policy is not right, it will be difficult to attract investment.
“If you invest in energy, it will be one of the biggest boosts to economic productivity in the continent.
“If we can deliver and provide that level of investment, this will be the trampoline for a lot more acceleration of development,” he said.
He identified clean water and sanitation as some of the factors of development.
“We looked at partnerships to address the issue of financing.
“All of this is framed in how we address the economic model of Africa, SDG 9 on sustainable industrialisation allowing for sustainable value chains that create more jobs to address the needs of the continent in a longer term,” he said.
The forum was organised by UNECA in association with the government of Niger and the collaboration of the AUC, AfDB as well as entities of the United Nations.
It was attended by African ministers, and senior officials responsible for the environment and sustainable development, finance, planning, economic and social development, water, energy, industry, infrastructure, urban planning and land management.
Other African ministers and senior officials of education, statistics, the digital economy, science and technology were also in attendance.
Also, heads and members of delegations of the parliaments of member states of the AU and experts representing governments and intergovernmental organisations, the private sector and civil society were present at the forum. (NAN)