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Africa is home to 70% of the world’s most poor people-Vera Songwe

Vera Songwe

Africa is home to 70% of the world’s most poor people, as inequality and poverty remain persistently high, with over 400 million people living in extreme poverty, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa Vera Songwe said on Monday.

Speaking at the 60th founding of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa Vera Songwe said current projections show that all African countries are off track to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030.

“Many African countries have achieved remarkable progress over the last six decades. Indeed, we have seen African economies labeled as some of the fastest growing in the world,” she said

“It is now clear that current growth patterns, once celebrated, continue to leave large segments of the population trapped in poverty and vulnerability, Songwe questioned.

According to the Executive Secretary, ECA has contributed to the shaping Africa’s changing narrative, often being at the forefront of independent thinking on African development policies. ECA’s contribution has covered pertinent areas of economic integration, trade policies, infrastructure agenda; gender equality; statistical development; the climate debate; and the science innovation and technology agenda.

ECA has contributed to consensus building and giving Africa one voice at the global level and this was evident in the articulation of Africa’s priorities in the post-2015 development agenda.

Meanwhile, UNDP’s administrator and vice –chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group Achim Steiner said the continent has up to 60 percent of its young people without jobs, has huge infrastructure deficit of up to $93 billion a year that is holding the continent back among many other development ills.

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