UN says to help Africa build productive capacity for economic diversification

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Photo taken on Sept. 14, 2020 shows the United Nations (UN) flag flying outside the UN headquarters in New York, the United States. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
Photo taken on Sept. 14, 2020 shows the United Nations (UN) flag flying outside the UN headquarters in New York, the United States. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

The United Nations said Wednesday it will help African countries build their productive capacity to diversify their economies.

Paul Akiwumi, director of the division for Africa with Least Developed Countries and Special Programs at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), told a forum in Nairobi, that productive capacities determine the ability of a country to produce goods and services and enable it to grow and develop.

“Africa is an area of focus for our work on building economy-wide productive capacities for inclusive growth and development,” he said during the high-level policy dialogue on fostering productive capacities for industrialization, export diversification and inclusive growth in the Kenyan capital.

Akiwumi said that after conceptualizing and successively measuring productive capacities, the UNCTAD will move toward developing country-specific diagnostics of domestic gaps and limitations.

“We will help in the identification of comparative advantages and binding constraints to economic development as well as mapping intervention strategies,” he said.

Africa needs to deliver productive capacities in the form of affordable electricity and transport as well as formidable institutions that will enable entrepreneurs to establish a business and produce and trade value-added goods and services, Akiwumi said.

“Developing productive capacity is necessary to diversify an economy, build human capital and increase productivity and wages, all of which reinforces an economy’s long-term resilience to shocks,” he said. Enditem

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