, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – Africa has the ability to solve problems and challenges facing its people, President Kenyatta has said.
President Kenyatta said Africans themselves should develop imaginative and innovative home-grown solutions to address the myriad challenges facing the fastest growing continent.
And for the continent to achieve its transformative agenda, said President Kenyatta, Africans must change the way of doing things.
He said time has now come for Africans to rise above mere slogans and actively engage all stakeholders for the continent to realize its development goals and aspirations.
“To realise Africa’s developmental aspirations we need the active engagement of all stakeholders including governments, the private sector, academia, research institutions, financial institutions and the civil society at large”, President Kenyatta said.
He was speaking at the UN headquarters Gigiri, Nairobi, during the official opening of Africa Sustainability Transport Forum (ASTF), Ministerial Conference.
To ensure the sustainable action plan is relevant and practical, President Kenyatta said citizens must be consulted and engaged at various levels.
“Many of these stakeholders are participating in this conference as proof of our common desire to carry every one along in our development journey,” he added.
He pointed out that the ongoing conference is one of such precious chances to make a difference, after collective reflection which should not be wasted.
“We gather at a critical time for Africa, and our 2063 agenda for development. This agenda demands our commitment to a shared strategic framework for inclusive growth and sustainable development for Africa’s transformation,” said the Head of State.
President Kenyatta said the current agenda demands that leaders change the way of doing things for the continent to achieve the vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.
He emphasised the importance of regional blocks working closely to prioritize their transport infrastructure plans.
The Head of State cited the example of the East Africa region which has prioritized the development of key transport corridors, in an effort to promote trade and investment within the sub-region.
He said the regional States are working together to develop seamless transport infrastructure, while at the same time striving to protect and preserve the environment.
Expressing hope that other regional trading blocs will consider a similar approach, President Kenyatta said respective governments have to be bold and imaginative to develop transport systems on the continent that are both efficient and environmentally sound.
“We must be ready to share best practices and lessons and invest in research; and we must also develop the necessary home-grown expertise on the continent to actually implement our plans,” said the President.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on African countries and cities to develop environmentally friendly infrastructure that does not harm the users.
Ban regretted that air pollution had become the single biggest environmental health risk causing about seven million deaths worldwide every year.