Africa Industrialization Day: NUPENG charges leaders on investments in cross-border infrastructure

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By Ikenna Omeje

The National leadership of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has charged African leaders, policy makers, captains of industries, employers of labour  and the citizenry to embark on strategic investments in cross-border infrastructure.

In a statement signed by its President, Comrade Williams Akporeha and its General Secretary, Comrade  Afolabi Olawale on Tuesday,  the Union stressed the need for a purposeful development as the continent commemorates the 2020 edition of the Africa Industrialization Day, which is  observed annually on November 20.


 
The Union noted that  industrialization is a key driver of economic growth and job creation, and will be critical in the efforts to achieve the 2030  United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063.

It also called on governments, business and civil society organisations  to forge partnerships to encourage innovation and create incentives to power sustainable growth, through small and medium enterprises, which the Union say contribute 80 per cent of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and support 90 per cent of all jobs.


“As a trade Union body and also a socially responsible organisation, we found it appropriate and worthwhile to encourage Africa to leverage its abundant human and natural resources with creativity and innovation to fast-track industrialization, economic development and regional integration with cooperation as well as sincerity of purpose to engender faster collective growth and prosperity.


 
“Undoubtedly, industrialization is a primary driver of economic growth and job creation, and will be pivotal in efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063, therefore all hands must be on deck to make these laudable visions fruitful, achievable and enduring.


 
“Consequently, African leaders, policy makers, captains of industries, employers of labour and the citizenry must work in synergy and continue to highlight the links between industrial development and Africa’s moves towards establishing a Continental Free Trade Area; these are mutually supportive endeavours that shouldn’t be trivialized.

“More pointedly, there is need for strategic investments in cross-border infrastructure so as to consciously advance both trade and industrial capacity, promoting green technologies and low-carbon solutions, all of these will help to create compelling opportunities for increased commerce and industrialization alike.


 
“Similarly, small and medium enterprises, which already contribute 80 per cent of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product and support 90 per cent of all jobs, will remain key actors. Governments, business and civil society will need to forge partnerships to spur innovation and create incentives to power sustainable growth.


 
“It will also be critical to unleash the capacities of Africa’s young people and to strengthen African institutions. Both the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 must recognize and embrace these imperatives,” the statement  partly read. 



NUPENG further urged “all critical players to foster strong commitment towards supporting Africa’s industrialization” through the implementation of Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to build inclusive, resilient, peaceful and prosperous societies for all.

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