In a message on Africa Industrialisation Day, the United Nations has called on African countries to adopt policies that encourage growth of the private sector and foster entrepreneurship in order to advance economic competitiveness and prosperity in the continent.

This year, the Day focuses on how to raise awareness about the importance of mobiliSing finance to generate inclusive and sustainable industrialiSation.

Both the African Union's Agenda 2063 of "a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth the sustainable development" and the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - particularly Goal 9 - strongly support the creation of millions of new, high productivity jobs each year on the continent.

In his message on the day, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: "To accomplish this, African nations need to embrace transformative policies that will encourage the growth of the private sector, facilitate entrepreneurial initiatives, increase investment and generate durable partnerships."

"Investors need to see the benefits of financing the region's programmes, projects, businesses, and human resources," he added.

Ban underscored that in order to advance African economic competitiveness and create shared prosperity while protecting the environment, a strong and stable business environment based on good governance principles and the rule of law is necessary to support domestic and foreign investments.

He also called for greater regional integration and full integration into the global economy through fair and open trade.

"On this year's Africa Industrialisation Day, let us focus on financing for the engines of development as a way of realising the full potential of all the continent's people, especially women and youth, so they may look forward to a future of peace, dignity, and prosperity on a healthy planet," said the Secretary-General.

In 1989, the UN General Assembly, through its resolution 44/237, proclaimed Nov 20 Africa Industrialisation Day to mobilise the commitment of the international community to the industrialisation of Africa.