Finance Ministers in the African Union have announced that they will meet to discuss how industrialization can drive economic capacity in Africa under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
This was disclosed in a report by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Wednesday. The Conference will be a virtual event from 17-23 March 2021, themed “Africa’s sustainable industrialization and diversification in the digital era in the context of coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).”
UN ECA Director of Regional Integration and Trade, Stephen Karingi, stated that an industrial policy was necessary to maximize the AfCFTA, citing that African finance ministers would also discuss digital policies that could be integrated with the AfCFTA industrial drive.
“It is crucial that our governments establish institutional arrangements for cooperation on the digital economy, and provisions to support digital capacities and industrialization and connect African businesses,” Karingi said.
“Industrialisation and digitalisation recognize Africa’s desire to industrialize and create jobs for the millions of its populace, in particular the youth joining the labour market annually,” the ECA said.
The ECA added that Africa needed to implement policies that required inclusive growth in all capacities, factoring in better use of natural resources and climate change, citing that an eco-friendly solution towards industrialization would create 170 million new jobs in Africa between 2020 and 2030.
What you should know
- Recall Nairametrics reported in November 2020, that African Finance Ministers in partnership with the Specialised Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration discussed the launch of a payment system for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
- The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investments, Amb. Mariam Katagum, also disclosed last year that the Federal Government was committed to Nigeria’s manufacturing sector, and said AfCFTA would provide the platform for Nigeria’s diversification dreams, with a robust focus and support for the manufacturing sector.
- Meanwhile, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo stated that a new Automotive Industry Bill would help place Nigeria in its rightful position, as the manufacturing hub of Africa under the AfCFTA.