By NBF News

A new United Nations report released Tuesday on development in Africa calls for increased manufacturing on the continent to reduce poverty.

'Africa now accounts for about 1 per cent of global manufacturing, and cannot realistically hope to reduce widespread poverty if its governments don't take effective measures to expand this vital economic sector,' says the report by the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The Economic Development in Africa Report 2011 calls for 'a practical, well-designed approach to industrialisation, that is adjusted to specific country circumstances and based on extensive discussion with and feedback from businesses and entrepreneurs,' the agencies said in a news release.

The report says that Africa is losing ground in labour-intensive manufacturing - which is generally the entry-level step in industrial development, and is a category, especially important in Africa, where jobs are needed in rapidly growing cities.

Strategies to spur industrial development - in order to be effective - must be individually tailored by governments, according to the agencies.