African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry speech at the Africa Industrialization Day Ceremony and launch of the World Export Development Forum
Your Excellency, Sahle-Work Zewde, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Your Excellencies Honourable Ministers here present;
H.E. Arancha González, Executive Director, International Trade Centre;
H.E. Aurelia Calabaro, UNIDO Regional Director;
Your Excellencies Ambassadors and Heads of Mission;
Captains of Industry and Commerce ;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
I will be brief.
I warmly welcome you all to the African Union headquarters.
I am also happy to see you all.
20th November of each year is Africa Industrialization Day since 1989. We are marking thirty years of commemorating Africa Industrialization Day.
We commemorate it this year with renewed commitment to use industrialization as a key lever in the structural transformation of Africa.
We are this year commemorating the day with growing partnerships as represented by participants from many parts of the world.
We also have joint activities with the Governments of Korea and Ethiopia and the International Trade Centre. UNIDO is always our partner and will always be.
The key drivers of industrialization will be the private sector. Mindful of this; we are providing a large market space through the African Continental Free Trade Area hence the theme: Positioning African Industry to Supply the AfCFTA Market”. Business should welcome this. In addition to this, we are:
• committed to skills development and one of the key outcomes of this commemoration is to establish a Pan-African Manufacturing Institute;
• committed to dialogue with African Manufacturers. To this end, the Pan-African Manufactures Association has been inaugurated and we will enter into a memorandum of Understanding. Work is also underway to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding with the African Free Zones Organization;
• committed to creating an enabling environment for the growth of manufacturing by addressing issues like fair competition, policy consistency, access to finance, combatting corruption as well as creation of trade related infrastructure; among others.
• Committed to mainstreaming of gender in manufacturing. The She Trades Brand is growing. We must now develop the She Produces brand; and,
• Committed to leveraging synergies with the African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. To this end, we have during this commemoration inaugurated a Thematic Working Group on Industrialization, Trade and Investment.
Moving forward, we now need to focus on the development of industrial statistics that cover all African countries. The data will give us evidence of what is going on at the enterprise, national and continental levels.
Once again, you are all most welcome and thank you for your kind attention.