Nigeria lead drive at UN to recognise SMEs as key pillar in poverty eradication

Nigeria took centre stage at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday, November 24, when Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, took the stand to deliver the Keynote Address of the 2015 Africa Industrialisation Day with the theme, “SMEs for Poverty Eradication and Job Creation for Women and Youth.” The Conference Room 7 of the UN headquarters was packed full, an indication of the interest which the international community attached to the subject of Africa’s industrialisation. Okowa The elite gathering included Mr Mogens Lykketoft, President of the United Nations General Assembly, Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, Mr John Page, Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development Programme, Brookings Institution, and Mr Vandi Chidi Minah, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Chair of the Africa Group.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Paul Maseli, Director and Representative of UNIDO, organisers of the event, did not mince words in assessing the current state of industrialisation in Africa. “After 25 years of celebrating Africa Industrialization Day,” he declared, “and two General Assembly-endorsed Decades of African Industrialization the picture is, unfortunately, all but encouraging. Africa remains the least industrialized continent. It also remains […]