ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s prime minister said Monday that Africa’s future depends on its ability to achieve digital transformation, a climate-smart economy, and an enabling institutional structure.
Abiy Ahmed made the remarks in his opening address to a conference of African ministers of finance, planning and development as part of the 53rd session of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
“There is no doubt that Africa will overtime be a vital linchpin to the global economy,” said the 2019 Nobel laureate. “However, it must do these three things well and quickly to improve its chances of success.”
“We must scale up our investments – a trend already turbocharged by the COVID-19 pandemic. The digital economy is both a source of growth and a key competitive enabler of other productive sectors,” he said.
The ECA annual event – skipped last year due to the pandemic – was launched last Tuesday under the theme “Africa’s sustainable industrialization and diversification in the digital era in the context of COVID-19.”
“The second goal that every African country must adopt is making our economies climate-smart and resilient in diverse ways,” he said, calling for a climate-smart manufacturing sector to drive increasing exports and foreign currency earnings and create employment opportunities.
Africa, he said, must also put in place resilient institutions capable of implementing reforms to help the continent withstand the challenges of the future.
Digital transformation is a key driving force for innovation and sustainable growth that can transform Africa into a global powerhouse, said the prime minister.