African Union emphasise better capacity building among member states
By Idris Adesina
African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson H.E. Ambassador Kwesi Quartey says Africa’s transformation framework, Agenda 2063 and the global Agenda 2030, will only be realised when special attention is paid to accelerating the development of productive capacities.
Speaking during the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) High-level Panel Session on “Accelerating Progress in Building Productive Capacities in Least Developed Countries and other Vulnerable Economies”, Ambassador Quartey stated that building productive capacities is a top priority for Africa, as a means of promoting development. However the Deputy Chairperson cautioned on the challenge of improperly planned capacity development, which he said would lead to an increase of production without corresponding skilled manpower to take on the manufacturing facet.
Ambassador Quartey also noted that to enable countries produce efficiently and competitively, having an educated population is the key to unlock the socio-economic potential in the continent. “We must have a literate, numerate and highly skilled population that is able to build capacity retain its trained professionals and add value to our primary products, expand our infrastructure, develop and utilize ICT tools, as well as adequately explore entrepreneurial opportunities.”
Panellists at the event
The Deputy Chairperson’s observations are also in line with the African Union theme of the year 2017 “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in the youth” which is all about developing human capacity.
In his introductory remarks, UNCTAD’s Secretary-General Dr Mukhisa Kituyi observed that more work needs to be done in building productive capacities adding that despite the creation of the category of the least developed countries 46 years ago, only 5 countries have been able to graduate, while 27 countries had to be added to the group, bringing today’s total to 47 LDCs globally.
He challenged LCD countries to prioritize education and skills development in their national policies and strategies and find a better balance in the allocation of public resources between productive sectors and social sectors. He called on development partners to live up to their commitments in terms of aid and trade support measures adding that the net Official development assistance (ODA) to LDCs declined continuously from 2014 to 2016. “There is no shortcut to inclusive prosperity without building productive capacity. There is need for a clear investment programme that would drive Agenda 2030”, he said.
The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana H.E Mr. Mahamudu Bawumia, in his intervention, highlighted the importance of human capacity accumulation as one of the means of enhancing capacity.
He made reference to the recent roll-out of the Free Senior High School policy in Ghana, noting that nations cannot develop without equipping the people with the requisite skills, education and knowledge