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Ban Ki-moon urges economic development in Africa

TOKYO, June 2 (UPI) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Saturday Africa is “on the rise” and urged economic development on the continent.

Ban, delivering the keynote address at the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, urged conference participants to “advance progress on education, health and women’s empowerment, and unleash the power of Africa’s vibrant youth,” a United Nations release said.

“Africa is on the rise,” Ban said. “The goals of TICAD are the U.N.’s goals. We are committed to helping Africa realize the MDGs [Millennium Development Goals]. We will make sure Africa’s priorities are fully reflected in our post-2015 development agenda.”

Ban said many African countries have made “great progress” on the MDGs.

“Many African governments understand the value of investing in people,” Ban said.

However, he noted many people living in Africa lack jobs, healthcare and food.

The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook said sub-Saharan Africa’s economy grew by 5.1 percent in 2012 and is expected to rise to 5.5 percent this year and 6 percent in 2014.

The IMF said seven of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies will be in Africa by 2015.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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