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African Leaders must champion Industrialisation –Alan Cash

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Alan Kyerematen, Minister for Trade and Industry

The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen has advised African leaders to develop a new strategic framework that will reshape the fortunes of Industrialisation on the continent.

According to the minister, who is leading the implementation of Ghana’s One District One Factory (1D1F) agenda, leaderson the continent must map out a master strategy to boost the industrial revolution on the continent.

Speaking on behalf of President Akufo-Addo at the 17th Extra Ordinary Session of the Africa Union (AU) on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification in Niamey, Niger, last week Friday, Mr Kyerematen emphasised the immense prospects the industrialisation will bring to the continent.

He, therefore, suggested to African leaders to seriously embrace industrialisation, as it is the best way in addressing poverty and large levels of unemployment situation facing their people, adding that the difficulties most African countries faced in the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia- Ukraine war should be a wake-up call.

“Excellencies,It is a paradox of history that although Africa controls most of the strategic mineral resources of the world, has almost 60% of all arable lands, is endowed with the most extensive water bodies and has some of the richest forest resources, Africa still accounts for only 1.9% of global manufacturing and controls less than 4% of global trade.

“The answer to this paradox is for Africa to industrialise and add value to its natural resources. It is not by coincidence that the most powerful economies in the world also happen to be the most industrialised.

“It is against this background that I wish to commend highly the efforts of the AU Commission in bringing a new impetus for the industrialization of our continent”, he said.

He noted that the industrialisation process comes with the outlay of huge financial resources, among others, but urged African leaders to adopt measures that will help to make this possible.

“Excellencies, as we are all aware, industrialisation does not occur by chance or happen overnight. Africa will industrialise only if we plan for it through deliberate, consistent and systematic efforts, both at the regional and national levels.

“In this regard, I will encourage the African Union Commission to initiate the formulation of a new strategic framework for Africa’s Industrialisation, learning from the experiences of the implementation of AIDA.

“Africa cannot industrialise without investment capital. African Governments will therefore need to introduce business regulatory reforms that will attract private capital, both domestic and foreign, into industrial development activities”, the Trade and Industry minister added.

He cited the example of Ghana as a case study, where the comprehensive 10 point for industrialisation, led by the One District One Factory was developed.

“Excellencies, in Ghana, we have launched and are implementing a Comprehensive Ten Point Plan for Industrial Transformation, which includes amongst others – the flagship “One District One Factory” Initiative, which seeks to decentralise industrialisation, and the establishment of Strategic Anchor Industries which seek to diversify the Ghanaian economy away from cocoa and gold. Ghana is ready and willing to share our experiences with sister African countries,” Mr. Kyerematen said.

JENNIFER AMBOLLEY

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