African’s future growth lies in industrialisation

| September 28, 2015

Africa’s future economic growth and prosperity lies in its industrialisation and value addition of its natural resource base, Vice President, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi, has said.

Mr Masisi said in his intervention at a side event on “Africa’s Industrialisation” at the UN Summit on the adoption of the Post – 2015 development Agenda in New York on September 26, 2015. The event was jointly organized by the United Nations Industrialisation Organisation (UNIDO), UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), AUC and the Office of the UN Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA).

Generally, the Vice President said Africa had an abundant natural resource endowment, which he said provided comparative advantage.

Therefore, to harness the full potential of its natural resource endowment, Mr Masisi said it was important that the continent moved away from the simple exports of raw materials and strengthen its local productive capacity for value addition, as well as improved management of its natural resources.

For many African countries, including Botswana, he said revenues from natural resources, including extractive industries, were a key source of development financing.

Extractive industries, in particular, he said held much of the untapped potential in Africa and, “going by the experience of Botswana, we can at least attest to the fact that strengthening of downstream linkages offers opportunities for value addition.”

For that reason, the Vice President said it was also important for African countries to seize emerging opportunities in the global economy to foster industrial development in order to achieve the much needed paradigm shift towards sustained and inclusive economic growth, poverty eradication and job creation.

“It is only through such transformation that we can succeed in our continued efforts to create an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, for the benefit of both present and future generations,” he added.

Furthermore, Mr Masisi said the African Mining Vision (AMV) and the Action Plan for Accelerated industrial Development in Africa (AIDA) could also serve as important catalysts for the continent’s industrialisation and socio-economic transformation.

“My delegation is therefore of the strong view that no effort should be spared in ensuring the effective implementation of these two initiatives, if we are to achieve the “Africa We Want”, and one whose development leaves “No One Behind”,” he added.

The Post 2015 Development Agenda Outcome document, the Common African Position on the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda, Mr Masisi said also underlined the critical importance of industrialisation and value addition of natural resources as key drivers for socio-economic transformation, inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.

Additionally, he said the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG9) specifically recognised the critical need “to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.”

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