Executive Secretary Carlos Lopes of the Economic Commission for Africa is holding crucial meetings with London-based institutions this week with talks centering on illicit financial flows, investment in Africa and the continent’s industrialization, among other topics. First on his busy schedule is a meeting with Invest Africa, where he will address members on investment opportunities in Africa. Invest Africa is a London-based private members club which was founded for business leaders, private investors and entrepreneurs to gain insight into Africa and the vast investment opportunities the continent offers. The Executive Secretary will on Wednesday, among other meetings, address the annual gala dinner of the Law Society in London, focusing on Africa’s investment prospects with more than 200 investors, market leaders and senior decision-makers in attendance. His address is titled; “Is Africa facing bad weather?” On Friday he addresses the annual London School of Economics Africa Summit whose theme this year, “Africa within a Global Context”, seeks to challenge conventions. In the summit’s keynote address, the Executive Secretary will make a case for Africa’s structural transformation, the need for African countries to do more to diversify their economies and develop the productive capacities of their youthful and abundant labour force, among other issues. “Africa today stands out as the continent with the best opportunities to develop if its resources are effectively harnessed through inclusive structural transformation,” said Mr. Lopes. “As latecomers to this process, an effective structural transformation for Africans means, among other things, making significant productivity gains in rural areas with vibrant hubs of agri-business and linkages across industrial activity.” During the summit Mr. Lopes will also participate in a panel discussion on illicit financial flows. The panel seeks to provide a thorough understanding of the causes and effects of illicit financial flows from Africa, the modalities and the role of domestic and international policies and laws towards curbing the practice. The LSE Africa Summit showcases Africa’s contributions to the world, bringing researchers, policy makers, academics and experts together to discuss current challenges and issues facing the continent. Mr. Lopes will also feature at Chatham House where he will launch one of the ECA’s latest publications entitled “Transformative Industrial Policy for Africa” which is the think tank’s contribution on how the continent can conceptualize and implement industrial policies that will transform Africa. The publication aims to serve as a guide for supporting member states on industrialization, providing concrete strategies for the integration of industrial policies into national developmental plans across the continent.Made up of 54 member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the United Nations and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, the ECA is a think tank making unique contributions to address the Africa’s development challenges.
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