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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Africa Industrialization Day 2015, November 20th.

2015 theme - “Small and Medium Enterprises for Poverty Eradication and Job Creation for Women and Youth"

In recent years, many countries in Africa have experienced significant economic growth and progress in human development.  However, inclusive and sustainable industrial development remains elusive.  Youth unemployment and gender inequity jeopardize the continent’s efforts to eradicate poverty.
The private sector in Africa contributes to a projected 80 per cent of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product and supports an estimated 90 per cent of all jobs.  Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have a pivotal role to play in the industrial development of Africa.  Nevertheless, opportunities for youth and women generated by SMEs are limited, thus failing to harness the full entrepreneurial potential of the continent.  This means less capacity for transformative socio-economic development, innovation and value addition.
I welcome the theme for this year’s Africa Industrialization Day: “SMEs for Poverty Eradication and Job Creation for Women and Youth”.  Africa needs to invest in training and education for women and youth to industrialize, grow the private sector and achieve sustainable development.  SMEs can provide a solid foundation for sustained economic growth, job creation and poverty eradication. 
The important contribution of inclusive and sustainable industrialization in helping Africa to overcome its critical development challenges is clearly recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by United Nations Member States in September.  On this year’s Africa Industrialization Day, I reaffirm the commitment of the United Nations to enhance Africa’s SME sector and stimulate economic opportunities for women and youth to promote the continent’s progress towards economically enriched, socially inclusive and prosperous societies.

Ban Ki-moon

Did you know?
  • Africa’s growth has continued to increase, rising from 3.7 % in 2013 to 3.9 % in 2014.
  • However, the pace of Africa’s industrialization has been slow. Africa's share of global manufacturing exports is a meagre 1.9 %, compared to over 16 % for East Asia.
  • Moreover, Africa is marginalised in world trade. The continent’s share in global exports has remained at roughly 3.3 % since 2010.
  • Today, Africa has over 82 trillion dollars in discovered natural resources. Africa must add value to these resources, to maintain the wealth within the continent.
  • Africa needs a stable trajectory for economic growth and prosperity. To achieve that, Africa must industrialize as prioritised by the African Union's Agenda 2063.


1. Africa  is  the  least  developed  region  of  the  world  in  terms  of  industrialization.  It  accounts  for  a  negligible  share  of  global  industrial  output  and  manufactured  exports.   Only  in  a  few  of  the  countries  is  the  manufacturing  value  added/GDP  ratio  above  20  pe rcent. In a large number of African countries, the manufacturing sector’s contribution  to GDP is less than 15 per cent and in some cases lower than 5 per cent.  The output of  the  sector  is  heavily  concentrated  on  low  technology  products  such  as  food,  texti les,  clothing,  footwear,  etc.  The  majority  of  African  countries  are  yet  to  be  involved  in  any  significant sense in the medium -  and high -  technology segments of global manufacturing  that  have  been  characterized  by  dynamism  and  rapid  growth  in  recent  years.  The  African  economy  is  heavily  dependent  on  the  production  and  exports  of  primary  products  and  consequently  suffers  from  the  associated  risks  of  this  dependence.  The  continent   must   take   advantage   of   new   opportunities   offered   by   globalization   by  preparing   e nterprises,   putting   in   place   policies   for   upgrading,   developing   human  resources,   strengthening   its   capacities   for   innovation,   by   accepting   the   facts   of  industrialization.  

2. Industrialization is a critical engine of economic growth and development. Indeed,  industrialization  is  the  essence  of  development.  That  Africa  remains  the  poorest  region  of  the  world,  where  34  of  the  50  least  developed  countries  are  located  and  in  which  p overty  is  on  the  increase,  is  a  reflection  of  its  low  level  of  industrialization  and  marginalization in global manufacturing. There exists a strong linkage between industrial  productive  capacity,  economic  growth,  and  level  of  development.  The  developing  re gions and countries that are sharing in the benefits of globalization, making progress  towards  the  attainment  of  the  Millennium  Development  Goals  (MDGs),  and  moving  up  on  the  ladder  of  development  are  the  rapidly  industrializing  ones.  Africa  has  not  benefi ted  much  from  the  process  of  globalization  and  risks  not  meeting  the  MDGs  in  spite of its richness in natural resources. 

3. African Heads of State and Government have in recent years taken a number of  major initiatives, to meet the challenges of development,  to reverse the marginalization  of Africa in the global economy and polity, and to claim the 21 st  Century for the peoples  of  the  continent.  These  include  the  establishment  of  the  African  Union  (AU)  and  the  adoption  of  the  New  Partnership  for  Africa’s  Devel opment  (NEPAD)  as  the  strategic  programme of the Union.

Strategy for the Implementation of the Plan of Action for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (En)

Strategy for the implementation of the Plan of action for the accelerated Industrial Development in Africa.

Africa has witnessed improved growth in recent years – averaging 5.5 per cent per annum. Nevertheless, poverty remains a serious challenge. This is because growth alone is not sufficient to propel broad-based development. For growth to be translated into sustained poverty reduction, greater attention needs to be placed on the quality of growth, its sustainability and spread. In this context, greater access to, acquisition and application of science, technology and innovation are critical for African countries to raise the quality of their human capital and consequently, enhance pro-poor growth. UNIDO's AFRICA PROGRAMME.

 Inclusive and Sustainable  Industrial Development in Africa Region - UNIDO.

Inclusive and Sustainable  Industrial Development in Africa Region - UNIDO.

During the 2013-2014 Biennium, programmes and projects assisting African Member States to achieve  UNIDO’s mandate of “Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development“ (ISID) have been implemented  in all UNIDO priority areas; namely, agribusiness and rural entrepreneurship, industrial policy  development, trade capacity building, energy, youth employment, investment promotion, institutional  capacity development, energy efficiency and climate change.

The delivery of UNIDO technical assistance in the region amounted to US$ 37.8 million in 2013 and  US$ 41.2 million in 2014. Moreover, during the 2013-2014 Biennium, UNIDO developed several country  programmes in the region, of which 13 were approved and signed. As of April 2015, there were 17 country  programmes under development. UNIDO also convened a number of events, including conferences and  other thematic global forums in the region.   The region covered by UNIDO’s Africa Bureau comprises 45 sub-Saharan countries, including 20 Middle  Income Countries (MICs), 31 Least Developed Countries (LDCs, out of 34 in African continent); 16 of the  world’s 32 Land-Locked Developing Countries (LLDCs)  and five Small Island Developing States (SIDS, out  of 51 in the world).

Forum :  Africa Industrialization Day - November 20

 On Africa Industrialization Day, Ban warns gender inequity, youth unemployment risk continent’s progress

Events : 
4th Congress of African Economists 2015 Theme: Industrial Policy and Economic Performance in Africa. Share. 16th – 18th November 2015

News :  

The United Nations System and Africa

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