African leaders call for greater industrialization

Mar 29, 2013, 3:37 PM EDT
Employee of Gabonese pharmaceutical factory Sogafam checks a machine making pills 04 March 2005, at the plant in Owendo, south of Libreville.
AFP/Getty Images

African Ministers of Finance and other leaders met at the 6th African Union - UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) joint meeting called to make industrialization a priority in governments' policy. The leaders, gathered in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, believe that even as the continent's rate growth was 5% in 2012, well above 2% for the global economy, an industrialization agenda is the way to sustain its achievements, as well as to decrease its reliance on primary commodities exports. Some of the mechanisms they recommend is transforming low-productivity, subsistence-oriented systems to efficient production ones or a further backing of the private sector through reasonable commitments to its development. “There is no doubt that Africa desires structural transformation and not structural adjustment,” said Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the ECA.