UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday called for action to make Africa a success, and said “the world must see Africa for what it is: a land of enormous potential and resources.”
Guterres made the remarks in a speech at the inaugural meeting of the Global African Business Initiative (GABI), which took place in New York over the weekend on the sidelines of the high-level week of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
He called on governments and the private sector to work together to create the conditions for the continent’s success. Bold investments and new finance models can put the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the heart of business models, he added.
Noting that every sector of the African economy is growing, from manufacturing to agriculture, from services to finance, Guterres said the continent’s vibrant, young population represents a dynamic workforce and a massive consumer and business market.
And the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement will further accelerate investment and trade opportunities, he noted.
For example, the UN chief said, Africa has huge potential to move away from fossil fuels, since the continent boasts significant solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energy sources that could make it a renewable energy leader.
The transition to clean energy could create more than 6 million new jobs in Africa by 2050, and yet it has received just 2 percent of global investment in renewables over the past decade, he said.