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AfDB seeks faster industrialisation of continent

As part of its activities to mark Africa Industrialization Day 2020, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has urged the continent to accelerate industrialization for the transformation of African economies.

“Industrialization, where we add value to what we competitively produce and then export, and also trade among ourselves on the back of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) within a market of 1.3 billion people, should be prioritized and delivered,” said Solomon Quaynor, the bank’s Vice President, Private Sector, Infrastructure & Industrialization, in a message marking Africa Industrialisation Day.

 

Quaynor stressed that the COVID-19 crisis had sharpened the need to accelerate industrialization and urged a greater role for the private sector, including as a partner to the public sector.

“Resilience is key, and that means no matter the external shocks in the future, we should rebuild so that our people, particularly youth and women who  head our households, have jobs and better incomes,” he said.

The AfDB counts Industrialising Africa as one of its High-5 key strategic aims, critical for the transformation of African economies.

The bank continues to support operationalisation of the AfCFTA. In August 2019, the institution extended a $ 4.8 million grant to support the establishment in Ghana of the AfCFTA Secretariat.

The bank is working with African countries that are developing strategies for implementation of the AfCFTA, helping them to build capacity and leverage opportunities provided by freer trade.

When businesses can trade across borders, then industry can expand, economies can diversify, and countries can move up the value chain, according to the Bank’s 2020 Annual Development Effectiveness Review (ADER) released last week.

The report suggests that the bank’s investments in 2019 benefited one million people. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that benefited from bank projects trebled their turnover to $1 billion

 

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