Acting Executive Secretary of the UNECA, Mr. Antonio Pedro made this projection known in Niamey, Niger, at the beginning of the 9th Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development.
The expansion of e-commerce across the continent, he said, will depend on investments made in capacity building. As a result, he stated that making an investment in capacity building will be essential to fulfilling this pledge.
“By adopting appropriate standards and emphasizing the value of sustainable value chains, we can maximize the job creation potential on our continent,” the executive secretary said.
“We must end the digital divide, particularly along gender lines, to ensure true inclusion, and to truly unleash the potential of the fourth industrial revolution,” he added.
The acting executive secretary noted that effective national and regional policies and plans must complement a significant infrastructure investment and that digital technologies will also expedite Africa’s development.
He went on to say that the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063 will be implemented with renewed vigor at the 2023 meeting on sustainable development. According to Pedro, the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement provides the basis for ensuring that the change is led by Africans.
“We must accelerate, and to do so we need to recognize the obstacles to be overcome. This year we are revisiting the Sustainable Development Goals 6, 7, 9, 11, and 17,” the executive secretary stated.
He continued by saying that the meeting will reflect more deeply on the ways in which the Africa Regional Collaboration Platform may hasten the SDGs’ implementation on the continent.
“It will be a moment to discuss how the 28 national AfCFTA strategies that have been completed so far with our support, and under the leadership of the African Union Commission, can be mainstreamed in the work of the UN Country Teams,” he said.