The Government of Niger is ready to host Africa's Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, scheduled for Niamey, Niger, from November 19th to the 24th.
It would serve as another opportunity for the African continent to provide high-level political support to drive a globally competitive Africa-industrialization program through public-private alliances, at the national, regional and continental levels, and through policy coherence, coordination and investment financing.
According to the African Union Commission document made available to the Ghana News Agency in Tema on Wednesday, the Summit will be convened as part of the week-long activities of the "Africa Industrialization Week", commemorated annually by the African Union on November 20th.
It is to accelerate the process of industrialization and economic diversification in Africa, in the context of the entry into force and the start of trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is being hosted by Ghana.
In separate meetings held with the technical evaluation and assessment team from the AU Commission, Mr Gado Sabo Moctar, Minister of Trade, Industry and Young Entrepreneurs; and Madam Ousseini Hadizatou Yacouba, Minister of Mining of the Republic of Niger, they assured of the commitment of Mr. Mohamed Bazoum, President of Niger and Leader of AfCFTA, to host the Summit in Niger.
The Ministers expressed the readiness and capacity of Niger to host the Summit, recalling the successful hosting of the AU's 12th Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in July 2019.
The Ministers also noted the importance of the Summit, making reference to the nexus between Africa's industrialization and the full implementation of the AfCFTA, as deliberate efforts by the continent, to realize the mutually reinforcing synergy between the two, and to achieve the Aspirations of Agenda 2063.
On his part, Mr. Hussein Hassan Hussein, the Head of Industry, Innovation and Mining Division in the AU Commission Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining Department (ETIM) expressed optimism in the trajectory of the industrial development on the continent.
He noted that the sustainability of the success of the AfCFTA must be supported by the ability of the continent to industrialize, and to add value to their primary commodities and diverse the economy of member states.
He added, "with massive industrialization, Africa has the ability to eradicate poverty, provide job opportunities to millions of young people and achieve sustainable development, and that is why the upcoming summit is key for the continent to speak in one voice on how we will enhance Africa's industrialization initiatives and programs to accelerate the continent's process of economic transformation".
The COVID-19 pandemic has equally been a stark reminder on the need to build a strong and resilient economy to withstand future shocks.
A technical evaluation and assessment team from the AU Commission concluded their five-day evaluation mission- September 27th to October 1st, 2021- in Niamey, where they engaged in several preparatory activities with the Government of Niger ahead of the Summit.
The team assessed among others, the infrastructure and technological capacities, and the preparedness of the host country to convene the Summit in line with the prevention and containment measures of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Africa's Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification comes on at an opportune time for the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, to provide high political advocacy and policy guidance on the African Commodity Strategy and its Action Plan.
The Strategy was recently adopted by the African Ministers in charge of Trade, Industry and Minerals, convening under the third Specialized Technical Committee on Trade, Industry and Minerals in September 2021.
The African Commodity Strategy is one of the flagship projects of Africa's Agenda 2063. Additionally, industrial expansion is timely as Africa looks to enhance its pharmaceutical manufacturing capacities following the adverse realities experienced during the pandemic.
The Summit will also be an opportunity to rally reinforce the regional integration of the continent through for the strengthening of the development of regional industrial value chains towards the creation of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises for youth and women.