Ban: Science has role in Africa's future

November 22, 2007

Science, technology and human resources are needed to aid Africa's efforts to ease poverty and attain sustainable development, U.N. officials said.

"One of the most effective channels for eradicating poverty, creating wealth and enhancing competitiveness is through the acquisition, adaptation and application of relevant technologies," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a message marking Africa Industrialization Day.

While Africa is blessed with natural resources and many countries have experienced sustained economic growth, the continent still lags in reaching the Millennium Development -- global targets to reduce poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy by 2015, Ban said in a news release issued from New York.

In his message to recognize Africa Industrialization Day, U.N. General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim commented Tuesday on the recent announcement by the World Bank that African economies are growing at the steady rates necessary to reduce poverty and attract more foreign investment. However, Kerim said sub-Saharan Africa's share of world industrial output remains at less than 1 percent.

"The underlying reasons for this should be addressed, including the continent's infrastructure gap and cost of doing business, which can be two to three times higher than Asia," he said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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