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African Leaders Gather in Niger To Accelerate Industrialization and Trade

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President Paul Kagame of Rwanda on Thursday joined other African leaders in Niamey, Niger where they are attending the Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification.

The summit which kicked off (November 20-25), deliberations are being guided by the theme; “Industrialising Africa: Renewed commitment towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Economic Diversification.”

Delegates have underscored that the private sector has a critical role of supporting innovation in high-potential areas such as agriculture, agro-industry, health, education, infrastructure, and especially energy, which remains a crucial issue in advancing industrialization.

Aissata Tall Sall Senegal’s Foreign Affairs Minister noted that the industrialization of Africa can unlock the continent’s potential for inclusive growth by expanding access to the economic opportunities thus created to all segments of the population, especially women and youth.

She said that in addition to these challenges, there is the issue of mobilizing domestic resources to finance our economies, as well as the fight against illicit financial flows that encourage tax evasion and corruption.

Delegates also noted industrial development and economic growth in African countries, would equally lead to the successful implementation and beneficiation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

“The major challenge here is to be able to strengthen trade between African countries that are more open to the outside world through agreements that have already been signed and that manage the bulk of their trade. It is therefore a matter of developing the capacity to successfully transform our productive structures with a view to increasing the complementarity of intra-African trade,” said Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

He added that It would also be necessary to ensure convergence by reducing the major gaps between Member States and between the Regional Economic Communities in terms of development and level of integration.

“Industrialization and economic diversification are therefore a lasting economic legacy that we must leave to the younger generation, because it is a solution to the challenges of the moment, especially those related to insecurity,” said Massoudou Hassoumi, Niger’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

The summit comes at a time the continent if commemorating the Africa Industrialization Week.

Every November 20th, is commemorated as the Africa Industrialization Day,adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity in July 1989, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Since 2018, the Africa Industrialization Day has been commemorated with week-long events, marking a departure from the one-day tradition, and which affords more time to reflect and accelerate actions towards Africa’s structural transformation, as an enabler to meet the objectives of Agenda 2063, and SDGs, 2030.

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