In Africa, the issue of industrial transformation is on the agenda of most countries. In this respect, any contribution towards attainment of this goal will be warmly embraced.
A major challenge to African countries is the need to raise and sustain economic growth at a much higher level and to create employment and increase income for effective poverty reduction. Globalization presents additional challenges and new opportunities. National development strategies have to be devised which aim at enhancing international competitiveness.
Although African countries want to transform from agro-based economies to full-scale industrial economies, it is difficult to achieve this in a short time, especially taking their prevailing political situation into account. Another problem is the lack of skilled manpower; and even that available is not being used efficiently.
Industrial development is central to the structural transformation necessary for African economies to increase incomes and employment and diversify exports. In Africa, there is a growing consensus that accelerated economic transformation is dependent upon the synergies between industrial and agricultural development. The workshop will try to examine the necessary ingredients for attaining such synergies.
It is expected that the topic of industrial transformation will remain central to their activities in the years ahead, more so as Africa moves towards economic integration under the umbrella of an African Economic Community (AEC).
A special concern of UNEP's is how to integrate environmental issues and human activities. It is expected that the meeting will provide advice that will enhance UNEP's activities in Africa.
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Maria de Amorim,
Regional Office for Africa,
P.O. Box 30552,
Tel.: (254-2) 624284;
Professor Dr. Pier Vellinga,
Institute of Environmental Studies Vrije Universiteit,
de Boelelaan 115, 1081 HV Amsterdam,
tel: 31 20 444 9515, fax 31 20444 9853,
UNEP News Release 1998/119
Note to journalists: At the session on 17 November there will be a presentation on the most promising research ideas as they relate to Africa.