According to the African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina during the 2018 annual meeting that kicks off today in Busan, Korea.
“Secret of the wealth of nations is clear: developed nations add value to everything they produce” said Adesina
He added that Africa must work for itself, its people, not exporting wealth to others.Industrialise Africa is one of five accelerators of the African Development Bank.
The others are Feed Africa, Light Up and Power Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa. I firmly believe that if Africa focuses on these High 5s, the continent will achieve 90% of its Sustainable Development Goals and its Agenda 2063 goals.
“This is why Industrialise Africa is at the heart of the African Development Bank’s High 5s. To industrialise Africa, the African Development Bank is committed to mobilising capital, de-risking investments for the private sector, and leveraging capital markets” he noted
Adesina further said that this is essential for moving Africa’s Industrial agenda forward and for building an Africa of the twenty-first century that is well positioned to take its place in global value chains.
“Africa is certainly the place to do business today. We have a rapidly growing young population, and an increasing demand for consumer goods, food, and financial services. Together, these factors make Africa an attractive business and industrial proposition for the private sector”. Adding that Diversification is not a goal. It is the outcome of well-planned policies for the structural transformation of economies.
According to him no region of the world has moved to industrialized economy status without passing through the transformation of the agricultural sector. This is the formula: agriculture allied with industry, manufacturing and processing capability, equals strong and sustainable economic development and wealth creation throughout the economy.
“The bottom line is that we need to produce more and we need to produce better. Most of all, we need to add value to our resources and raw materials, and turn them into processed products: noted Adesina
Africa is a land of opportunity. The continent is well endowed with natural resources necessary for a resource-based industrialization. The continent is sitting on more than US$82 trillion in discovered natural resources, with the potential to contribute US$30 billion a year in government revenues over the next 20 years. Africa also possesses other natural resources – minerals, rivers, forests, fisheries, etc., in vast quantities worth significant amount.
The value added of its fisheries and aquaculture alone is estimated to be more than US$24 billion. However, many countries continue to export raw materials with little value addition. For example, Africa exports 69% of the world’s raw cocoa beans but only 16% of ground cocoa, which is typically worth 2-3 times more per ton than raw cocoa.
Transforming the agriculture sector in Africa towards agro-allied industrialization could open markets worth more than US$100 billion a year by 2025. Agribusiness can thus be the engine of Africa's structural transformation while creating decent nonagricultural jobs, increasing income, feeding Africa, and alleviating poverty. Therefore, agribusiness can be the engine of Africa's structural transformation while creating decent non-agricultural jobs, increasing income, feeding Africa, and alleviating poverty.