diagnosis http://debiontheweb.com/wp-includes/class-wp-customize-setting.php geneva; color: #333333; font-size: small; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;”>This year’s meetings are aimed at providing the opportunity to take stock and look forward, story http://childrensclasses.org/wp2012/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/sync/class.jetpack-sync-module-attachments.php reflecting on the aspirations of Africans for the destiny of their continent amidst wide spread challenges of poverty, disease, political turmoil and terrorism.
Launching the Africa Transformation Report, World Bank Chief Economist, Justin Lin, revealed that Africa has all the potential to rise and shine given that “China 30 years ago was less developed than Africa today.”
Lin pointed out that China will in the near future release at least 150 million labour intensive jobs, adding, only forward-looking African governments can quickly grab half of them.
Addressing Africa’s major development bottlenecks, Lin explained the continent must realize the urgency of creating plenty of jobs in the labour intensive sector.
Africa’s competitive advantage is in its labour force and natural resources.
Observers say while African economists never run short of transformative ideas, the continent continues to fall short on implementation.
Africa remains rich in oil, vast mineral resources, a favourable climate for agriculture and arable land but remains the poorest continent in the world.
The report urges Africa to focus on reforming the education system, putting emphasis on science as key for the continent’s transformation.
Regarding the challenge of growing food for export and food security, experts called for improved technology to increase production.
Agriculture currently provides up to 70 percent of employment in lower-income countries in Africa.
AfDB Vice President Mthali Ncube said Africa must focus on cluster industries around natural resource extraction.
On unemployment, Lin suggested that if Africa made a decision to manufacture shoes, it would take at least 50 percent of China’s 19 million shoe jobs.
Experts further emphasized the need to boost efforts in combating terrorism, ethnic clashes and sectarianism to enhance development and unity.
It was also suggested that Africa facilitates debt cancellation policies so that a huge debt burden doesn’t cripple Africa’s development projects.
In Central Africa Republic (CAR), religious strife fuelled by a dangerous brew of extremism, ethnicity and tit-for-tat politics has left thousands dead and millions displaced.
In Nigeria, government forces are grappling with the Boko Haram terrorist attacks in which thousands have been killed which has cost government billions of dollars in tourism and related sectors.
The same is true of South Sudan where rebels loyal to fugitive former Vice President have committed atrocities following a bloody power struggle with President Salva Kiir.
The eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo remains on the edge as militia groups including FDLR continue to stoke tensions in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
The series of high level seminars and events will address the global economy, the continent’s economic, social and political issues, and seek solutions to ensure a better future for Africans.
The meetings will go beyond reflecting on the Vision for Africa’s future to discuss the role and the kind of leadership needed – in all spheres of society, to make Africa a prosperous continent, based on development that is inclusive and sustainable.
The event has brought together approximately 3,000 delegates from Africa and the world; including high level participants such as Heads of State, Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, representatives of multilateral finance institutions, development agencies, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, civil society and the media.
This year’s meetings are discussing “the Africa We Want” in next 50 yearrs.
In a related development, AfDB an, OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will later today launch their 2014 African Economic Outlook, a yearly report containing projections and analyses on economic and development trends in Africa.
Officials say this year’s edition for the first time covers all of the continent’s 54 countries and dedicates its special chapter to global value chains and Africa’s industrialization.
The report takes an analytical perspective at Africa’s recent economic performance and provides medium- to long-term growth projections, while highlighting how Africa’s engagement in global trade can boost the continent’s economic transformation and human development.
AfDB says over the years, many African countries have significantly scaled up their data collection efforts, but challenges remain with regard to the timely dissemination of the data to users.
The meetings will also review the African Development Bank’s 2013 operations and its 2014 development funding portfolio, as well as the objectives for the African region in key areas such as regional integration and trade, infrastructure, private sector development, job creation, governance and green growth.