Prosper Ndlovu Bulawayo Bureau
President Mnangagwa was expected to fly from Harare to Niamey, Niger last night, where he is set to join other heads of state and government today at a session of the African Union (AU) summit on industrialization and economic diversification.
The summit runs under the theme “Industrializing Africa: A Renewed Commitment to an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Economic Diversification”, and is expected to unlock the development of a vibrant pan-African enterprise and capital base.
It is part of Africa Industrialization Week (AIW – 20-25 November 2022), annual commemorative activities aimed at highlighting Africa’s renewed determination and commitment to industrialisation.
Transforming the region’s economy through industrialization is one of the central pillars towards achieving the continent’s growth and development goals in the form of the African Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the global 2030 Agenda.
President Mnangagwa is among the regional leaders invited by Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum to attend the high-level Indaba.
He is expected to share Zimbabwe’s experience of industrialization at the regional level, with an audience comprising officials from the AU Commission and representatives of its principal organs, industry and trade, mining, development partner agencies, manufacturing and commerce leaders, civil society and investment financiers. Ministers responsible for among other relevant stakeholders.
Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenja, who arrived in Niamey earlier in the week and was part of an extraordinary session of the AU’s Executive Council on Wednesday, said Zimbabwe’s participation in the summit was strategic as it was pursuing a comprehensive industrialization drive. Is. Anchored on reviving value chains.
He said that through the leadership of President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe was driving a private sector-led growth, while preparing the country to tap into the vast trade opportunities under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“There are lessons to be learned from the Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy, which provides the foundation for structural transformation of industry and commerce.
“Under President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe is experiencing a growth trajectory in production, productivity and industrial capacity utilization through targeted sector specific strategies,” said Dr. Nzenja.
As one of the leading AfCFTA agreement signatories, Zimbabwe has tailored its industrialization policy to tap the vast business opportunities in the regionally integrated economic zone and what is left is the awareness and buy-in of the private sector. is increasing these, Dr. Nzenja said.
Noting collective responsibility among governments, development finance institutions, regional and international bodies in economic development, Dr. Nzenja said the summit should help unlock value chain financing as a key enabler for strong regional transformation .
“The story of Africa’s industrialization lies in value addition. As long as we continue to export raw materials, we cannot aspire to have resilient and sustainable industries.
Zimbabwe has also called on the AU Secretariat to consider value chain mapping for Africa so that regional countries can harness each other’s strengths as they industrialize and trade.
As part of efforts to bolster regional industrialization cooperation efforts, Zimbabwe and Zambia signed a joint agreement to establish a common agro-industrial park based on comparative advantage in the agricultural sector as a starting point to strengthen cooperation. Project started.
The project will be the first of its kind in Southern Africa and hopes are high that the model will be replicated with more African countries as the region explores opportunities under the AfCFTA.
Given the critical and strategic interdependencies between industrialization and the success of the AfCFTA, the AU has said this week’s summit seeks to generate the desired political momentum, resources, partnerships and alliances towards a unique Africa-industrialisation drive.
The outcomes of the summit are expected to pave the way for an inclusive and sustainable industrialization with the participation of all economic agents including SMEs, youth and women, as well as creation of national wealth and jobs, as well as expansion of entrepreneurship opportunities. also includes.