Africa’s private sector has been called upon to move the continent’s development forward.

The call was made by the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) who is also UN Under-Secretary General, Abdulie Janneh.

He asked the private sector to make its expected contribution to the transformation of Africa and invest in activities that add value to the commodities and natural resources that abound in the continent.

Mr Janneh made the call when he addressed a panel discussion held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, currently going on in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

He said, “There is abundant evidence that the celebrated economic performance in Africa is being powered by privately owned companies across the continent and we should therefore take some time on mutual reflections on our aspirations and expectations from the private sector over the next forty years.”

His remarks were captured in a press release issued by the Information and Communication Service of the ECA in Addis Ababa and copied to

Mr. Janneh, according to the release urged the private sector to contribute to job creation; supplement efforts of government to provide training for young people particularly those that relate to manufacturing or the services sector including ICTs, banking, health and education; and to mobilize much needed resources for investment in farms, factories and infrastructure, among others.

He however, acknowledged that the private sector must be supported in a meaningful way to overcome critical constraints, such as poor access to credit, lack of long-term financing, poor infrastructure, as well as onerous regulatory burdens for it to play a meaningful role in the development process.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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