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UNCTAD launches economic development report in Nairobi

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) launched the Economic Development in Africa Report 2023 on Wednesday in Nairobi.

UNCTAD Secretary General Rebeca Grynspan said the report, whose theme is ‘The Potential of Africa to Capture Technology-Intensive Global Supply Chains, tries to give a unique insight into the potential for increased integration into the supply chains in Africa.

The Secretary-General mentioned that the report also tries to understand the incredible potential of Africa as a continent.

Grynspan said that the Report further explains how Africa can become a significant actor in the global supply chains by harnessing diverse resources for the materials needed, high technology sectors and growing consumer markets.

“Kenya is an example of a vibrant economy, emphasising Africa’s potential in global trade and world economy’s future and Nairobi is Africa’s business hub, home to a vast stock exchange. That’s why it was necessary to launch the Report here and not at the Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland,’’ noted Grynspan.

The Report elaborates that increased integration into the supply chains in Africa can be done by bringing together knowledge on how Africa can strengthen supply chain diversification in high-knowledge and technology-intensive sectors.

“If we will be dependent on only one or two commodities, we know that is risky and so we have to get away from that path because defined trade builds resilience and enhances innovation since a wide-based economy is key for private sector development and employment opportunities to thrive,” explained the Secretary General.

The Director of UNCTAD’s Division on Africa’s Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes, Paul Akiwumi, stated that Africa in the last 15 years has made tremendous strides in showing innovations and has been able to fill the supply chain globally even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Report recommends that UNCTAD could work with governments in Africa, domestic and global industry leaders, and domestic and foreign investors to facilitate, streamline and increase visibility, transparency and impact in overall supply chain processes.

By Shamim Kambi

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