As we celebrate the 50th anniversary, I think of the legacy of the first Secretary General, Raul Prebisch, who set the framework for UNCTAD to critically look at the theories of trade to benefit the transformation of our economies. His economic contribution continues to resonate as the 54 African countries pursue their path of industrialization.
Trade is a key driver in Africa's transformational process as it is in other developing economies. UNCTAD's pivotal roles in supporting African countries realize their potential in both international trade as well as intra-African trade can lift millions of people out of poverty.
Under the leadership of Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCT AD is also helping countries leverage the opportunities in technology and sustainable development to generate growth and the much needed employment opportunities for youth thus complementing the work of the economic commissions in lifting standards of living.
I warmly congratulate UNCTAD and wish it continued success on behalf of ECA.