Oredola AdeolaAfrican leaders have identified the need to invest more of the national budgets significantly on energy and infrastructure in order to achieve the continent’s development goals under agenda 2063.
This is part of the issues discussed by twenty heads of state and government as well as their representatives during the recently concluded African Union Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization, Economic Diversification, and the AfCFTA in Niamey.
This was revealed in a statement released on Thursday by Olufemi Terry, African Development Bank Group, Senior Editor, Communication and External Relations Department, obtained by EnergyDay.
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the way forward on industrialization entails investment in energy and infrastructure.
“The pace of industrialization in Africa is still too slow to achieve Africa’s development goals under Agenda 2063,” said Kagame. “We need to invest more of our national budgets in industrial policy, and significantly increase energy and infrastructure capacity.”
Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank President in a speech read on his behalf by Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, AfDB acting vice President for Regional Development, Integration, and Service Delivery noted that free trade areas had brought prosperity worldwide not by trading low-value products, but by industrial production.“It is, therefore, clear that Africa’s prosperity must no longer depend on exports of raw materials but on value-added finished products,”
The Bank chief also detailed efforts to develop spheres that will boost Africa’s industrialization and economic diversification, including the energy, health, natural resources, and pharmaceutical sectors.
“Africa has an abundance of natural resources, oil, gas, minerals, and metals, as well as a vast blue economy that needs to be rapidly industrialized,” Adesina said.
“The future of electric cars in the world depends on Africa, given its vast deposits of rare mineral resources, including lithium-ion, cobalt, nickel and copper.
“The size of the electric vehicle market has been estimated at $7 trillion by 2030 and $46 trillion by 2050. Building precursor facilities for lithium-ion batteries in Africa will cost three times less than in other parts of the world,” Dr. Adesina said.
Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum, the summit’s host. “This in itself is proof that we are on the right track. A Nigerien proverb says, ” You cannot stop a river,” he added.
Bazoum called on African countries to entrench the rule of law to catalyze the emergence of the African private sector, unleash the energies of African entrepreneurs, and simplify the business environment.
“Inclusive, coherent, and sequenced industrialization that we want cannot be imposed and can only be achieved by creating synergies between the private and public sectors to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and create quality jobs.
Bazoum added: “the youthfulness of the population and its growth, which are a challenge, can constitute an asset, provided the demographic transition is well-managed.”