Africa Industrialization Week Opens in Addis Ababa

By Staff Reporter

AIW-2019November 18, 2019 ( -- The Africa Industrialization Week conference was opened today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference was organized by Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission (AUC) in partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry International Trade Centre, Geneva (ITC), the Korean-African Foundation, and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce, among many others.

The Innovation week will have the participation of at least 1,000 multi-stakeholder delegates drawn from the private sector, public sector, civil society, development partners, and trade and industry think tanks within and outside Africa.

Sectorial businesses like high tech companies, manufacturers, tourism, Medicare, automotive, textiles, fertilizers, and the financial sector are also represented in the conference meant to promote the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The Africa Industrialization Week was organized under the theme ‘’Positioning African Industry to supply AfCFTA Market."

Deliberations will revolve around the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the Sustainable Development Objectives (SDGs) and Africa’s 50-year development plan; Agenda 2063.

According to the African Union Trade and Industry Commission report, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement covers a market space of at least US$3.4 trillion, and a consumer base of 1.27 billion.

With the principle of expanding the continent’s industrial production frontier, it becomes critical for enterprises to tap into large scale opportunities on the back of free trade. And Given the importance of Industrial development as an engine for inclusive and sustainable development, the Trade and Industry Commission suggests AIW2019 (Africa Industrialization Week) to enhance effective engagement of key stakeholders by the AUC on industrialization and trade-related subjects in the context of the AfCFTA.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Albert M. Muchanga; Commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission emphasized AIW’s capacity to drive recognition and understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with the industrialization drive on the continent.

The Commissioner further talked on how the event is meant to mobilize African leaders, policymakers, and private sector and development cooperating partners to enhance dialogue on the pan-African industrialization agenda, with emphasis on how development of regional value chains can a be a major catalyst towards boosting industrial production capacity and hence accelerated industrialization for the continent as we gear up on the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.

On behalf of the Ethiopian Government, Ambassador Mesganu Arga Moach, State Minister for Trade and Industry, expressed his pleasure that Ethiopia is the host for such an event.

The State Minister also spoke about the opportunities AIW could provide stakeholders to work together in the industrial development of the continent.

"AIW2019 is organized at the right time when the continent is talking about One Africa strengthened through regional integration platform of the AfCFTA," Ambassador Mesganu Arga said.

Given the urgency to boost industrial capacity to supply the AfCFTA market and beyond, reports indicate that this year’s African Industry Week will further focus on exploring tools and business instruments that strengthen the industry’s capacity to compete and innovate.

The AIW2019 will also promote the implementation of the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA in the context of Agenda 2063.

The week will be commemorated through a series of events that will highlight the progress, achievements, and challenges faced by African governments in developing their industrial sectors.

Some of the activities lined up for the week include The Africa Industrialization Day Celebrations, The World Export Development Forum, the African Union Commission Symposium on Special Economic Zones and Green Industrialization, the 4th General Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Africa Free Zones Organization, The Automotive Value chain Forum, the Fashion Value Chain Forum, the Africa-Korea Youth Forum, the Africa-Korea Business Forum, the She Trades Global (to present innovative solutions for women’s empowerment), the China – Ethiopia Investment Meetings, the Pan African Manufacturer Association workshop, a Media Awareness training, She Trades Global, and B2B Matchmaking Meetings

The Ceremony is expected to bring various Heads of State and Government, senior public officials’, corporates, and Development Cooperation Partners to deliver their remarks on key subjects of the continent’s industrialization progress.

The implementation of AfCFTA is set to start from July 2019.

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