Business News Thu, 27 Sep 2007

12th UNCTAD in Accra should ...

...launch Africa into mainstream of globalization

From Kwaku Osei Bonsu, GNA Special Correspondent, New York

New York, Sept. 26, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor said on Wednesday that the 12th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Accra should provide an opportunity for Africa to launch itself into the mainstream of globalization. It must provide policy responses that would ensure that imbalances in the sharing of benefits of globalization were properly addressed.

President Kufuor, who was in the United States to attend the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly said this in opening remarks at an UNCTAD briefing for New York delegates.

About 3,000 policy-makers, international organizations, academics, civil society representatives and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) would attend the Accra Conference. The last time the UN body, set in 1964 and charged with the responsibility of promoting development through trade and investment, met in Africa was 1996. This was in Midland, South Africa. President Kufuor gave the assurance that Ghana was ready to host a successful conference and said this commitment was borne out of the immense contribution UNCTAD had made to the development of poor countries, citing, its policy research, and trade and development reports.

He spoke of Ghana's vision to blaze the development trail of Africa.

UN Under-Secretary General Dr Asher Rose Sengel, said the Accra conference would draw up a collective action plan to enhance global trade and also focus on the development needs of Africa. She said it was important to promote equity and maximize development gains from the global economic system.


Mr Joe Baidoo Ansah, Ghana's Trade Minister, said the country was seeking to participate in new and dynamic sectors of the global economy that were emerging and where developing nations had comparative advantage.

"How to make globalization inclusive and to work for the development of all countries and societies is the challenge facing the international community. More needs to be done to ensure that we keep the pace, in our efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals." Mr. Akwasi Osei-Adjei, the Foreign Minister, said the Accra conference should galvanize international support and provide space for Africa to lift itself out of poverty.

He noted that, with the structures of governance being set right, Africa was on a forward march.

Sheikh Sidi Diarra, Special Representative of UNCTAD in New York, said it was important to carefully design a regulatory framework that would make sure that foreign direct investment contributed to sustainable development of poor nations. 26 Sept. 2007

Source: GNA