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Africa’s development lies in pathway of industrialization

Jun 22, 2016, 10:16 AM

The vice president of The Gambia has made a resounding and challenging remark to African countries, at the just-concluded TICAD Ministerial Preparatory Meeting in The Gambia, calling on our governments, as well as the public and private sectors to focus on adding value to our raw material resources to generate wealth and create jobs for our people.

The vice president also says industrialisation, value-addition, infrastructural development, technology transfer and skills development are matters of urgent necessity, if Africa must continue rising.

We find this statement golden and a call hitting the nail on the head.

We dare say that no country has ever developed without boldly and tactfully taking up the path of industrialisation to transform their economy and national development.

Industrialisation and value addition have been the hallmark of transforming the economies of all developed nations of the world.

If Africa should really catch up with the development trend of the world, it must embrace industrialization.

Through industrialisation and value-addition, manufacturing becomes a necessity; raw material resources are transformed to finished products; finished products are consumed locally as well as exported or sold out to other nations, and substantial foreign currencies are generated to meet balance of payments needs. This places the country’s economy on a stronger platform to manage inflation and other macro-economic challenges.

Furthermore, industrialisation and manufacturing generate wealth for the nation as well as bring about job creation in society.

All this goes on to create more needs for skills and knowledge acquisition by the people.

The youth, for instance, will be rest assured of lucrative jobs and a prosperous future, and the search for greener pasture will be eventually curtailed.

As the vice president also says, “our transformation is going to be driven by the youth” hence “they must be equipped with the requisite skills, resources and talent to face the future.”

We actually need to face the challenge of industrialisation and of turning our raw materials to finished products, which guarantees us optimum trade, more foreign or international trading currencies, more wealth, and job creation.

We have for far too long fixated by large-scale exports of unfinished resources and placed too much emphasis on foreign investment. This helps the economy to move on in good times, but they cannot actually sustain the country’s growth and development we desperately need in Africa.

Read the books and discover the accounts, you will come to the realisation that all developed nations of the world have had to take the pathway of industrialisation, value-addition, infrastructural development, technology innovation and skills development.

“Industrialization starts with the formation of capital - it does not matter how. It can be created by saving, by the state enforcing its will on the people, by the very rich themselves.”

F. Sionil Jose