Africa can become a global economic power : UN

United Nations: if handled right, provide an opportunity for Africa to become “a global economic power”, said a UN report.

“The global economic and geopolitical changes of the last two decades have shifted the global traditional power structures and witnessed the emergence of new powers from the South,” said a foreword to “Making the most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation”, an economic report on Africa.
“African countries have a real opportunity to capitalize on their resource endowments and high international commodity prices, as well as on opportunities from changes in the global economy to promote economic transformation through commodity-based industrialization and to address poverty, inequality and unemployment,” the 256-page report said.

“If grasped, these opportunities will help Africa promote competitiveness, reduce its dependence on primary commodity exports and associated vulnerability to shocks and emerge as a new global growth pole,” it said. The question is not whether Africa can industrialize by ignoring its commodities, but rather how it can use them to add value, new services and technological capabilities, said the report in its executive summary. It said such a contention may not apply to all African countries and should not be the only way African resource-rich countries industrialize.

Making the most of Africa’s commodities requires appropriate development planning frameworks and effective industrial policies that are evidence-based, said the summary. It urged caution against reliance solely on industrialization, saying it has not transformed economies.

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