First, allow me to add my voice in expressing our deep appreciation to UNIDO, ECA, the African Union Commission and the UN Office of the Special Advisor on Africa for the initiative to organise this side event on Africa’s Industrialization. I also wish to sincerely thank the respective discussants and panelists. We have derived considerable guidance and inspiration from their insightful perspectives.
Moderator, I have really taken the floor to underscore the salient point which has emerged in our deliberations that Africa’s future economic growth and prosperity lies in its industrialization and value addition of its natural resource base. To this end, it is worth pointing out that the Post 2015 Development Agenda Outcome document, the Common African Position on the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 underline the critical importance of industrialization and value addition of natural resources as key drivers for socio-economic transformation, inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.
Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG9) specifically recognises the critical need “to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. It is most gratifying that Africa generally has an abundant natural resource endowment, which therefore provides comparative advantage. But the continent has yet to harness the full potential of its natural resource endowment. It is therefore, important that Africa should move away from the simple exports of raw materials and strengthen its local productive capacity for value addition, as well as improved management of its natural resources.
Moderator, for many African countries, including my own, revenues from natural resources, including extractive industries, are a key source of development financing. Extractive industries in particular hold much of the untapped potential in Africa and, going by the experience of Botswana, we can at least attest to the fact that strengthening of downstream linkages offers opportunities for value addition.
It is therefore, important for African countries to seize emerging opportunities in the global economy to foster industrial development in order to achieve the much needed paradigm shift towards sustained and inclusive economic growth, poverty eradication and job creation. It is only through such transformation that we can succeed in our continued efforts to create an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, for the benefit of both present and future generations.
Moderator, before I conclude my intervention, allow me to observe that the African Mining Vision (AMV) and the Action Plan for Accelerated industrial Development in Africa (AIDA) could serve as important catalysts for the continent’s industrialization and socio-economic transformation. My delegation is therefore of the strong view that no effort should be spared in ensuring the effective implementation of these two initiatives, if we are to achieve the “Africa We Want”, and one whose development leaves “No One Behind”. I thank you for your kind attention.
Intervention by vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi at a side event on "Africa's industrialisation" jointly organised by the United Nations Industrialisation Organisation, UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). African Union Commission (AUC), and the office of Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) NEW YORK (26/9/15).