The Minister made the statement yesterday during the opening of the 2018 African Industrialization Week that is currently underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the theme” Promoting Regional Value Chains in Africa-A Pathway for Accelerating Africa’s Structural Transformation, industrialization and Pharmaceutical Production”
According Gebre-Egziabher Africa is becoming a preferred investment destination and it is already home to the majority of fastest growing economies
“Even though the overall growth rate has been highly encouraging, as well all know, the growth has not been uniform, and it is unfortunately, a grim reality that many our countries still have high levels of inequality, poverty and employment, showing that three is some serious homework for us all going forward,”She said
She noted that at this juncture, it might be important to note that, one of the key interventions to be considered could be leveraging the untapped potential of the private sector.
Adding that the growing private sector in Africa, comprising innovators, producers and employers, presents the greatest opportunity for tackling some of these problems and contributing to sustainable growth given the utmost need to improve governance in the continent, it is obvious that helping hand from the private sector will be a crucial importance.
On his part Albert Muchanga African Union Commissioner, Trade and Industry said that it has been almost three decades since the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed November 20th as Africa's Industrialization Day. This was done as part of the first Industrial Development Decade for Africa.
The commissioner noted that African countries have been aspiring to industrialize their economies since their early days of liberation. By the mid-1960s, many African governments conceived bolder plans and programs on industrialization.
“This was further given a regional scope with the adoption of the Lagos Plan of Action in April 1980 for the collective industrialization of Africa” he said
Adding that since the 1970s, more specifically as a follow-up to the Lagos Plan of Action, many African countries embarked upon ambitious industrial development programs that were largely driven by massive public investment.
He further said that over the last decade, Africa has seen a renewed interest in industrialization both from within and the outside world. As we get ready to celebrate Africa's industrialization day of 2018, it is crucial for governments to reflect on key lessons from past failures and look at existing and emerging challenges and opportunities.
Over the past two decades Africa’s economic expansion has been remarkable, with a few countries registering double-digit rises. Because much of the growth is fuelled by high demands for mineral and agricultural resources, the World Bank projects a slowdown in 2015 to about 4.4% due to weaker prices for oil and other commodities. However, growth is expected to pick up again in 2016 and 2017.