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FG Seeks Partnership for African Industrialisation

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IMAGE: Africa Industrialization Day 2011 »



The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Industry, trade and Investment, Mr. Dauda Kigbu, has called on stakeholders to come together in their efforts to finding new ways to partner and collaborate with the Ministry and other stakeholders across the globe in the collective search for industrialisation in Africa.

Kigbu made the call in his welcome address at the 23rd edition of the commemoration of Africa Industrialisation Day (AID) in Nigeria, which held at the National Centre for Women Development, Abuja.  The theme for this year’s AID was ‘Job Creation and Entrepreneurship development- a means to accelerate industrialisation’.

In his welcome address read by the acting Permanent Secretary and the Director, Policy, Planning and Statistics  in the Ministry, Ajiya Mamman, he pointed out that the objective of the forum was to provide the platform for decision makers, international organisations and other stakeholders in the sector globally to come together to renew commitment and draw attention to issues and challenges of industrial development in Africa.

He said the role of industry in job creation and global economic development was not in doubt as it was a very strong engine that drives economic growth. According to him, the huge human and material resources endowment in Nigeria and Africa have not yet been translated into welfare gains, even as the dominance of the oil and gas sector with its capital intensity and less inclusiveness had not helped matters.

Kigbu stated that it was in the realisation of this that the need to diversify the economy base of the country has thus become very paramount and a focus of the present administration.

He continued, “In Africa however, the infrastructure deficit, energy crisis, excessive import dependence, the lack of clear strategy for areas where we have competitive and comparative advantage and poor sectoral linkages have combined to undermine the industrial sector, resulting in low capacity utilisation, low contribution to GDP, high production cost and unemployment. 

“The challenge of industrial development in Africa has further been complicated with the recent developments in the developed economies particularly, in the United States of America and Europe.

“At the domestic level, the present administration under the leadership of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on assumption of office recognised the key role of industrialisation in economic development. Accordingly, practical attention is being given to the sectors of the economy where the country has comparative and competitive advantage with the conviction that achievements in these areas will in no time spill-over to other sectors of the economy,” he added.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion and chairman, Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Senator Wali Jubril, had expressed delight at the presence of major captains of industries who are the key players in the industrial sector development of the country.

He congratulated the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Nigeria Labour congress (NLC), the Organised Private Sector (OPS), among others, for their high level of representation at the occasion.

He called on the Federal Ministry of Trade & Investment to send a feedback to the government on suggestions, recommendations from industry stakeholders at the forum on very critical issues on the way forward on job creation and entrepreneurship development in the country.

In a joint declaration from UNIDO, African Union Commiseration (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission (UNECA) read by Dr. Patrick Kamowa, the UNIDO Country Director  in Nigeria, they pointed out that the focus on entrepreneurship development was a key to Africa’s sustainable growth.

In this regard the AU, UNIDO and UNECA have formulated strategies aiming at improving curriculum strengthening entrepreneurial culture, enlarging entrepreneurial base, and management training as well as the sharing of best practices  as a means to foster job creation and self employment in the continent.

They said the AU, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, has encouraged industrialisation through the development of skills transfer and retention strategies in order to respond to the pressing need of matching graduate output with decent job opportunities.

The declaration noted that despite their concerted efforts, the pace of job creation was still not matching population growth. Nevertheless, the current economic boom flowing from the high demand in commodities is an opportunity to invest  massively in human capital needed for industrialisation. Indeed, this investment will contribute to the achievement of pro-poor growth and hence stimulate entrepreneurship development in Africa, which will result in job creation.

Therefore, AU, UMNECA and UNIDO together called for renewed and intensified actions in order to improve people’s livelihood through decent and skilled employments.
The United Nations Secretary – General, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, in his goodwill message, pointed out that on this year’s AID, the organisation was highlighting the crucial role of job creation and entrepreneurship in eradicating poverty.
He said although Africa was home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies – with growth across a variety of sectors – too many people were still being left behind. The region was affected by widespread unemployment, particularly among youth. Many, especially women are engaged in vulnerable forms of work with low and unstable pay.
He therefore called on stakeholders to work together to foster job creation and entrepreneurship throughout the continent as critical ways to build a more prosperous and sustainable future for all.

Article Credit: ThisDay Newspaper

Updated 5 Years ago

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