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The role of Manufacturing in Africa

Manufacturing plays a prominent role in Africa’s economic development, made evident by how industrial growth positively affects the overall GDP and productivity of a nation.

Manufacturing activities boost the value generated in an economy by creating activity further along value chains, from raw materials to finished products.

The introduction of innovative technologies and methodologies in the manufacturing realm further increase productivity levels. In addition, manufacturing creates employment opportunities, boosts the skills of the workforce, reinforces the economy, extends developments into the wider economy and tends to support social stability. Furthermore, manufacturing can contribute to provide a level of equilibrium between creating local competition for imports along with producing goods for export.

In response to the aforesaid roles, the African Development Bank has incorporated Industrialize Africa as one of its High 5 Sustainable Development Goals. In order to drive the continent’s industrial program and develop Africa as a globally competitive component of the value chain, the AfDB is resolute in mobilising capital, de-risking investments for the private sector, and leveraging capital markets.

Africa’s rapidly expanding young population and simultaneous surge in demand for consumer goods and food has deemed the continent a progressive business and industrial proposition for the private sector. Ultimately, African people are required to produce more quantity with improved production methodologies. In addition, we need to generate greater value from our raw materials and resources by converting them into products through manufacturing.

African governments have recognised that a resilient manufacturing sector paves the way for a nation to provide a quality standard of living for its citizens. Moreover, they have acknowledged the manufacturing space as a key accelerator for the continent’s robust and inclusive growth.

The African Union’s Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA) and the United Nations’ Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA3) distinctly communicate the role of industrialisation in Africa. Agenda 2063 is the African Union’s strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent. It necessitates regional and national commodity value chains as well as the provision of sectoral and productivity plans, to confirm the implementation of industrial policies at all levels.

In response to these objectives, the President of the African Development Bank Group, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Director General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have collaborated to assist Africa in developing an agenda to promote industrialisation of the continent. This design serves as a strategic plan for executing leading programmes to advance the industrial transformation of Africa. Furthermore, it encapsulates the goals to industrialise Africa by making it a priority objective as well as making resources freely available to aid in the end goal of industrialising the continent. All this can be realised with support from the AfDB.

The Manufacturing Indaba 2019 has become a hallmark for the development of manufacturing by empowering African manufacturing participants to enter a new age of innovation, technology, competitiveness and sustainability. The event will not only provide a host of opportunities for the aforementioned stakeholders, but for anyone invested in the manufacturing sector, accordingly, contributing to the growth of Africa’s economy.

Learn more about Manufacturing Indaba 2019

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