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Africa Week Focuses on Challenges Facing the Continent

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 9 2015 (IPS) - The United Nations will be commemorating Africa Week (October 12-16), beginning Monday when strategic international partners will gather in New York to support an ambitious plan aimed at a brighter future for the African continent.

The plan, adopted by the African Union (AU) in June 2015, is expected to provide answers to many of the challenges facing African countries, including the eradication of poverty, silencing guns and sustaining peace, fighting terrorism, addressing irregular migration, abiding by human rights, and improving the economy and its infrastructure.

Called “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want”, the AU’s plan is designed to create “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens…”. Agenda 2063 will be implemented under five 10-year plans.

The plan will be the focus at the fifth commemoration of Africa Week, an annual event held on the margins of the General Assembly debate on Africa’s development.

According to a press release, the AU and its partners aim to achieve by 2063 a prosperous, integrated Africa bolstered by good governance, peace, the continent’s strong cultural identity, women and youth empowerment. A successful implementation of the plan would mean that Africa will play its role on the international stage as an influential partner.

Under-Secretary-General Maged Abdelaziz, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Africa, said “investing in Africa is investing in the world’s future,” pointing out that “Africa needs massive investment to substantially improve infrastructure such as roads and power plants in order to transform the lives of its people and sustain its future as envisioned in Agenda 2063.”

He added that “Africa is not looking for handouts; it is already mobilizing funds at home. Rather, Africa, which will have the world’s largest work force by 2035, is offering an opportunity to everyone to invest in the world’s future.”

Africa Week is organized by the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) in close collaboration with its strategic partners that include Member States, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the Department of Public Information, the AU, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) Secretariat and the African Regional Economic Communities (RECs).


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