Industrialization of Africa is one of the 5 key strategic priorities of the African Development Bank.
Every year, Africa Industrialization Week offers key stakeholders the opportunity to reflect on how the continent can catalyze industrial growth. A week of events culminates in the African Industrialization Day, which is celebrated every year on 20 November.
This year’s theme is Inclusive and sustainable industrialization in the AfCFTA era.
Let’s meet the industrialization experts at the African Development Bank, those who are moving the agenda forward on behalf of the continent.
Abdu Mukhtar, Director of Industrial and Commercial Development
COVID-19 threatens to destabilize fragile health systems and economies in Africa. Abdu Mukhtar, director of industrialization and trade development, says the African Development Bank will prioritize sectors such as pharmaceuticals and ICT education, and innovations such as e-learning and telemedicine.
“You have to industrialize to create jobs to increase productivity,” Mukhtar said. He also argued that the pandemic had set Africa back on economic development, prompting partners to rethink African development. He called for greater participation from the private sector and an improved environment for their participation. Watch his video below for more information.
Atsuko Toda, Director of Agricultural Finance and Rural Development
African smallholder families produce large quantities of food that becomes meals in Africa. However, food imports continue to rise to meet the growing demands of the growing population. Atsuko Toda, the Bank’s director of agricultural finance and rural development, discusses the role of small and medium enterprises in the agricultural industrialization path in Africa. As urban populations increase, Toda proposes adding value to the agricultural ecosystem through investments in agricultural processing and logistics, which retain agricultural value and allow countries to feed themselves.
Martin Fregene, Director of Agriculture and Agricultural Industry
Martin Fregene, director of agriculture and agricultural industry at the African Development Bank, discusses the bank’s integrated approach to agricultural industrialization through production, processing and logistics. “Agro-industrialization is at the heart of value-adding,” he said, adding that it should also be a priority for development in Africa. In his remarks, Fregene gives an overview of the Bank’s strategy in this area, and he works with governments to create fiscal and training incentives for the simultaneous use of land for production and processing. Watch the full video to learn more about these special agro-industrial processing zones, or SAPZs.
Click to find out more about our experts on the industrialization agenda here.