Ghana’s Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen has called on African leaders to develop a new strategic framework to reshape the fortunes of industrialisation on the continent.
The industrialisation specialist, who has championed the successful implementation of Ghana’s One District One Factory (1D1F) agenda, urged African leaders to map out a master strategy to boost the industrial revolution on the continent.
Speaking at the 17th Extra Ordinary Session of the Africa Union (AU) on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification on behalf of President Nana Akuffo Addo, the Trade Minister did not mince words in celebrating the fortunes of the industrial sector.
He emphasised the immense prospects the industrial, coupled with the availability of huge natural resources could bring to the continent.
Mr. Kyerematen asked African leaders to seriously embrace industrialization as it is the surest means out of the deep poverty and large levels of unemployment facing their people, adding the difficulties most African countries faced in the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia- Ukraine war should be a wakeup call.
“Excellencies, It is a paradox of history that although Africa controls most of the strategic mineral resources of the world, has almost 60% of all arable lands, is endowed with the most extensive water bodies and has some of the richest forest resources, Africa still accounts for only 1.9% of global manufacturing and controls less than 4% of global trade.
“The answer to this paradox is for Africa to industrialize and add value to its natural resources. It is not by coincidence that the most powerful economies in the world also happen to be the most industrialized.
“It is against this background that I wish to commend highly the efforts of the AU Commission in bringing a new impetus for the industrialization of our continent”, Mr. Kyerematen said at the continental summit in Niamey, Niger.
He noted that the industrialisation process comes with the outlay of huge financial resources, among others, but urged African leaders to adopt measures that will help to make this possible.
“Excellencies, as we are all aware, industrialization does not occur by chance or happen overnight. Africa will industrialize only if we plan for it through deliberate, consistent, and systematic efforts both at the regional and national levels. In this regard, I will encourage the African Union Commission to initiate the formulation of a new strategic framework for Africa’s Industrialization, learning from the experiences of the implementation of AIDA.
“Africa cannot industrialize without investment capital. African Governments will therefore need to introduce business regulatory reforms that will attract private capital, both domestic and foreign, into industrial development activities”, the Trade and Industry added.
He cited the example of Ghana as a case study where the comprehensive 10 point for industrialization led by the One District One Factory was developed.
“Excellencies, in Ghana we have launched and are implementing a Comprehensive Ten Point Plan for Industrial Transformation which includes amongst others, the flagship “One District One Factory” Initiative which seeks to decentralize industrialization, and the establishment of Strategic Anchor Industries, which seek to diversify the Ghanaian economy away from cocoa and gold. Ghana is ready and willing to share our experiences with sister African countries,” Mr. Kyerematen said.