African leaders, the donor community and other stakeholders have reaffirmed their commitment to a broad-based international partnership to industrialize the continent in a socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable manner.
The African Development Bank was represented by Amadou Hott, the Bank’s Vice-President for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth noted that Africa share of global manufacturing has stagnated below 2 percent over the last decade.
This is according to a press statement made available to ZANIS by African Development Bank Group Principal Communication Officer Jennipher Patterson in Lusaka today.
Ms. Patterson revealed that unemployment and poverty are serious concerns for the continent, where more than 70 percent of the working age population is unemployed or has no job security, prompting the UN to declare 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III).
Earlier in 2016, the AfDB developed together with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization( UNIDO ) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) an ambitious Industrialize Africa strategy that aims at more than doubling the continent’s industrial Gross Domestic Product ( GDP ).
Ms. Patterson said in the statement that President Lungu was proud to be associated to the event and placed value on the role played by the organisations to work closely with Africa to promote inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the continent.
The Zambian President noted , according to Ms. Patterson, that the African continent has witnessed significant changes in policy orientation with more emphasis placed on building productive capacities in order to take advantage of opportunities emerging from the global economy.
Ms. Patterson stated that many African countries have restructured their economies and have embraced liberal economics and trade policies to support development strategies however, these reforms have come with their own challenges, including the influx of imported commodities and unfortunately closure of industries with consequential job losses.”
She said during the meeting, African leaders and development partners reiterated the importance of industrialization to eradicate poverty and to ensure that Africa’s fast-growing population yields its demographic dividend.
Ms. Patterson explained that Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Haile Mariam Desalegn revealed that the lack of skills is the major problem in Africa with an integrated industrial strategy African states will hopefully mobilize funds, build the capacity of local employment and promote small, medium enterprises with domestic development projects.