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Africa sets agenda for sustainable development

Updated: 2016-04-02 21:52
By Lucie Morangi (chinadaily.com.cn)

African development week enters its third day with several events scheduled to take place throughout the weekend.

One of the issues set to be discussed on Saturday is on bilateral investment treaties and how African countries can design deals that increase the attractiveness of the continent to investors while handling them in a fair, equitable way that reinforces a sense of security and success.

This comes at a time when there is a planned move to relocate some light industries from China to the continent that is expected to boost economic growth. Industrialization is hailed as the ideal strategy to bring the continent closer to achieving Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals. Three countries namely Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia have been selected for the pilot project.

Furthermore, several African countries have expressed interest to duplicate the special economic zone model behind the rapid industrialization growth witnessed in China.

The event organized by Economic Commission for Africa will see Paul Jourdan, a mineral policy analyst from South Africa lead his peers in shedding light on how Africa can balance rights and obligations between host countries and investors.

Two reports are also scheduled to be launched, an Africa governance report that gives a continental view of corruption levels and assessing the progress of African integration. The latter gives a regional integration index.

Transport infrastructure largely funded and built by China is expected to feature prominently in the report.

"These reports will give an African perspective. We want to take ownership of our statistics because these numbers will give an African narrative," says Jimmy Ocitti, Director, Public Information and Knowledge Management Division, ECA.

The events are precursors to the annual joint United Nations ECA and African Union Ministerial Conference that is scheduled for Monday next week. The forum will bring together African ministers of economy and finance who will discuss the continent's development agenda.

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