Goal 9 – Infrastructure and Industrialization

Sustainable development and empowered communities require an investment in infrastructure for transportation, irrigation, energy, and communication technology. Issues around infrastructure confront both developed and developing nations. The United States and other mature economies face the challenge of maintaining and modernizing infrastructure while developing economies are challenged with delivering basic human needs. Please join the awareness initiative and visit www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/infrastructure-industrialization/ to learn more about building infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation. Join the community. Make building infrastructure your resolve.


A key driver of sustainable development is the role of Information and Communication Technologies. Forty three percent of the world population 3.2 billion people are online today. Ninety five percent of the global population subscribe to a mobile-cellular subscription representing 7.1 billion worldwide. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations in his statement during the 2014 WSIS+10 high-level meeting in Geneva, stated, “Information and communication technologies have long been recognized as key enablers for bridging the digital divide and achieving the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth, environmental balance and social inclusion.” “We must do everything in our power to increase access to ICTs and broadband connectivity across the world, including reaching people in remote areas, land-locked countries, small island developing states and the least developed countries. This will empower millions of people and enable us to meet our development goals,” Ban Ki-moon added.


By the year 2030, the global population is expected to reach nine billion people. To meet the infrastructure needs of this burgeoning population may require a $57 trillion investment. The projected global GDP growth is estimated at 3.8% with utilities, energy and transportation averaging around three percent. Healthcare, water, and education, social infrastructure is estimated to grow 4% annually. The effects of urbanization on infrastructure will be profound.

United Nations facts regarding Infrastructure and Industrialization:

  • Roads, information and communication technologies, sanitation, electrical power and water remains scarce in many developing countries
  • About 2.6 billion people in the developing world are facing difficulties in accessing electricity full time
  • 2.5 billion people worldwide lack access to basic sanitation and almost 800 million people lack access to water
  • 1-1.5 million people do not have access to reliable phone services
  • Quality infrastructure is positively related to the achievement of social, economic and political goals
  • Inadequate infrastructure leads to a lack of access to markets, jobs, information and training, creating a major barrier to doing business
  • For many African countries, particularly the lower-income countries, the existent constraints regarding infrastructure affect firm productivity by around 40 per cent
  • Manufacturing is an important employer. In 2013, it is estimated that there were more than half a billion jobs in manufacturing
  • Industrialization’s job multiplication effect has a positive impact on society. Every one job in manufacturing creates 2.2 jobs in other sectors
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises that engage in industrial processing and manufacturing are the most critical for the early stages of industrialization and are typically the largest job creators. They make up over 90 per cent of business worldwide and account for between 50-60 per cent of employment
  • Strong rising interest in energy alternatives, the possible total employment for renewables by 2030 is 20 million jobs
  • Least developed countries have immense potential for industrialization in food and beverages (agro-industry), and textiles and garments, with good prospects for sustained employment generation and higher productivity
  • In developing countries, barely 30 per cent of agricultural production undergoes industrial processing. In high-income countries, 98 per cent is processed. This suggests that there are great opportunities for developing countries in agribusiness

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