Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, says state intervention is critical to drive Africa’s industrialization – to become a global centre for trade and manufacturing.
It called for right policy decisions and regulations, forging stronger partnership with the private sector and fiscal discipline.
Dr. Adesina, speaking at a breakfast meeting to herald the start of the Group’s annual meeting in the industrial megacity of Busan, South Korea, said “the time to start is now”.
“Accelerating Africa’s industrialization” is the theme chosen for the three-day event.
About 3,000 delegates and 80 governors from the 80-member countries and are attending.
Busan was chosen as venue for the meeting because of its exceptional success as one of the world’s leading industrial and economic powerhouses after consciously transforming its economy through industrialization.
Dr. Adesina said “this was achieved by dint of vision, creativity, ingenuity, fiscal discipline and willingness to make hard decisions in order to secure its future”.
“We have a lot to learn from the Korea’s experience and its rapid growth”, he added
He noted that Africa was blessed with abundant sunlight, human and natural resources including oilfields and forests – holding about 65 percent of arable land that could feed the whole world population, but found itself, exporting commodities in raw form.
Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire and Nigeria for example, between them, accounted for about 85 per cent of global cocoa production but held only two per cent of the chocolate industry, totaling $120 billion.
Dr. Adesina said things needed to radically change since “no country develops by exporting raw commodities”.
The knowledge events during the annual meetings were aimed to change the narrative, find creative ways and pathways to engender Africa’s growth and build the infrastructural capacity to create wealth.