Marking Africa Industrialization Day, observed on November 20 of every year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the crucial role of job creation and entrepreneurship in eradicating poverty across the continent.
"Let us work together to foster job creation and entrepreneurship throughout the continent as critical ways to build a more prosperous and sustainable future for all," Ban said in a message marking the occasion.
"Although Africa is home to some of the world's fastest growing economies ... with growth across a variety of sectors ... too many people are still being left behind. The region is affected by widespread unemployment ... particularly among youth. Many, especially women, are engaged in vulnerable forms of work with low and unstable pay," he said.
Africa's economic dynamism, young population, and potential for innovation form the foundation for stronger and competitive industries, he noted, renewing the United Nations' commitment to Africa's development and the African Union's efforts to achieve inclusive growth.