Helen Clark: Opening Speech as a co-organizer at the Opening Session of TICAD VI

Aug 27, 2016

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark addressing opening session of TICAD VI Summit. Photo credit: UNDP

I am pleased to address the opening session of this TICAD VI Summit. As a founding co-organizer of TICAD, UNDP is committed to the Summit’s success.

This is the first time that TICAD takes place here in Africa. This recognises its strong underlying principle of “African ownership”. I sincerely thank the Government of Kenya for its hospitality, and acknowledge the Government of Japan’s unwavering support for Africa, and also its strong partnership with UNDP.

Since its inception, TICAD has evolved to meet the changing development needs of the continent. Attendance has grown greatly from just 1000 participants in 1993 to 6,500 this year. TICAD’s result-oriented approach is being emulated by other partners as a mode of engagement on development in Africa.

An opportune moment for Africa’s development

Just as TICAD summits II through V supported progress on the MDGs, TICAD VI is poised to make an important contribution to implementation of both the UN’s 2030 Agenda and the first ten-year implementation plan of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies - growth here has averaged close to five per cent per annum since 2000. Many countries on the continent are also experiencing fast rising human development.

The TICAD process has contributed to these trends, including by supporting access to education, health services, water, and sanitation; entrepreneurship for youth and small holders; and border modernization which facilitates trade.   

Let me highlight three priority areas which UNDP sees as critical to the success of TICAD VI and the action which follows:

First, economic diversification and industrialization

There is an urgent need to transform African economies so that agriculture becomes more productive, manufacturing flourishes, and higher value service industries emerge. Economic diversification, industrialization, enabling SME development, and infrastructure improvements are vital, as are well-managed extractive sectors

Second, investing in people

Africa’s youthful population offers a strong basis for Africa’s transformation.

Investing in education, skills development, health services, housing, and social protection will underpin inclusive and sustainable growth and human development.

Creating opportunities for women and youth must be at the heart of the transformation agenda.

Third, promoting good governance, social stability, and sustainability

Responsive and accountable governance, a focus on shared prosperity, and sound social contracts will reinforce peace and stability and drive human development.

UNDP’s commitment

UNDP is committed to working with Africa in all these areas, including in the context of TICAD VI. Already:

  • we are supporting the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals and of Agenda 2063 into national and local development plans and strategies;
  • we work to ensure that national and local plans and strategies are risk-informed; and
  • we work to promote economic diversification, including through South-South Co-operation; to formulate and implement inclusive and pro-poor programming; and to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Conclusion

UNDP is confident that the TICAD VI Declaration and its implementation will support the achievement of both Africa’s Vision 2063 of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena”, and the global objectives of the 2030 Agenda of poverty eradication and “leaving no one behind”.

UNDP will continue to work with the nations of Africa, and with the African Union and all other TICAD co-organizers, to deepen the contribution which TICAD makes to achieving national development goals and the regional and global agendas.

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