A mass industrialization of the continent based on raw materials is necessary, possible and profitable, according to this year’s economic report on Africa prepared by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) launched on Monday.
“The experience of countries rich in resources shows that industrialization based on raw materials is possible, despite criticisms saying it would be more difficult than any other industrialization mode,” says the report launched at the sixth conference of African ministers of Finance, Economic Planning and Development.
The report is on the theme: “Draw the biggest profit from African-based products: Industrialization in service of growth, employment and economic transformation.”
It is through the creation of added value and establishment of relations between sectors that industrialization will create jobs, revenue and fiscal and non-fiscal profits, such as the diversification of technology capacity and the improvement of industrial structure, says the report.
Progress has been made in upstream and downstream sectors of basic industrial, agricultural and energy products in several African countries. Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt are good examples of countries which know how to exploit their basic industrial products, says the report.
The transformation of primary raw materials paves the way for perspectives in the creation of added value and industrialization based on basic products in Africa, says ECA.
The food-processing industry is one of the most advanced manufacturers in Africa. Most countries have food-processing industry, with variations. The report recommends wide-scale interventions and high density of resources to extend and modernise agricultural production.