Industrialization key to poverty reduction in Africa: researcher

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/11/26 8:13:46

Industrialization offers a pathway out of poverty as it is capable of creating decent employment opportunities for a youthful population in Africa, an industrial researcher has said.

Joseph Mungarulire, director general of the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) in Rwanda, made the remarks on Friday during celebrations to mark the Africa Industrialization Day.

The day aims to raise awareness of inclusive and sustainable industrialization as one of the conditions for economic growth and eradication of poverty on the African continent.

"Africa's economic growth is mostly driven by agriculture which is not backed by robust structural transformation characterized with industries, a reason Africa is till impoverished," said Mungarulire.

Africa is a home to millions of people living in extreme poverty and without decent jobs due to slow industrialization, according to Mungarulire.

"In developed countries, economic growth is driven by industrialization underpinned by strong manufacturing. We need to engage African leaders and policy makers to promote industrialization on the continent, if we are to accelerate Africa's transition into a middle-income continent," the NIRDA boss emphasized.

This year's Africa Industrialization Day focuses on raising awareness on the challenges and opportunities in financing for industrialization.

According to African Development Bank (AfDB), inclusive and sustainable industrialization will help Africa overcome its critical development challenges, which are clearly recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goal 9 calls to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

Francois Kanimba, Rwandan minister of trade, industry and East African Community Affairs, said at the event that strong partnership between governments, development partners and the private sector will continue to contribute to acceleration of industrialization on the continent and Rwanda in particular.

"To bridge the industrial gap in the continent, vibrant private sector is crucial. But, the private sector in some African countries faces a challenge of poor infrastructure and high cost of doing business. Mechanisms should be put in place to address these critical issues," he noted.

Africa Industrialization Day was officially established in 1989 by the UN General Assembly within the framework of the Second Industrial Development Decade for Africa.

Posted in: AFRICA

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