Observance of Africa Industrialization Day (21 November 2016)

"Financing Industrialization in Africa: Challenges and Winning Strategies"

The theme of this year's Africa Industrialization Day celebration is “Financing Industrialization in Africa: Challenges and Winning Strategies”. The objective is to raise awareness on the challenges and opportunities in financing for industrialization, taking into consideration recent success stories and elaborating on how to further galvanize support for promoting Africa's industrialization.

In observance of the 2016 Africa Industrialization Day, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) and the African Union are partnering with the Permanent Mission of the Arab Republic of Egypt in co-organizing a reception on Monday, 21 November 2016, 6 - 8 pm, at the Permanent Mission of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Nations. This event will provide an opportunity for key stakeholders and development partners to address the topic.

Statements and presentations will be made by:

  • Welcome Remarks by H.E. Mr. Amr Aboulatta, Permanent Representative of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Nations, as Host of the event,
  • H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly,
  • H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General,
  • H.E. Mr. Charles Thembani Ntwaagae, Permanent Representative of Botswana and Chair of the African Group,
  • Mr. Maged Abdelaziz, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA),
  • H.E. Mr. Téte António, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, and
  • Mr. Paul Maseli, Director and UNIDO Representative to the United Nations in New York.

>> More information on the event on Save The Date PDF

Why does industrialization matter?

More than ever in the past, the necessity for Africa to industrialize is being stressed at various international forums, ranging from TICAD VI to the G20 Summit, which put industrialization in Africa and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in its programme for the first time. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 9, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III) resolution, also mark a transition to a new development paradigm with the recognition that Africa has to restructure and diversify its economies to be on a sustained growth path. Africa can more than double its overall GDP per capita by increasing its industrial GDP in the next ten years, however Africa needs to leverage the full strength of a wide range of strategies to finance its industrialization.

The challenges of financing industrialization in Africa are multiple. These include:

  • Inadequate flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the manufacturing sector, as FDI is mostly directed towards natural resource exploitation;
  • Poor domestic mobilization and allocation of resources;
  • Inability to finance infrastructure that is critical for industrial development;
  • Poor continental industrial development funds and regional investment funds;
  • Lack of quality of investment flows into productive sectors and lack of an attractive competitive growth environment;
  • Non-conducive business environments; and
  • Weak public policies that leverage African remittances for industrialization.

Moreover, Official Development Assistance (ODA) falls short of the 0.7% promises.

In line with the theme of this year's celebration of the Africa Industrialization Day, the event seeks to shed light on some of the key opportunities and interventions to finance industrialization, including:

  • Catalyze funding into infrastructure and industry projects that attract further FDI by increasing and channelling funding into GDP catalytic programmes;
  • Improve access to market finance for African enterprises, advising governments, stock exchanges and regulators on development of liquid capital markets;
  • Foster partnerships; Increase firm capabilities and generate important productivity spillovers (through technology and know-how transfers, FDI can lead to higher productivity jobs and high-value added industry niches);
  • Access to markets, in particular small domestic markets;
  • Drive enterprise development and scale-up investments and financing to SMEs and establish linkages of SMEs to domestic projects/companies;
  • Foster successful industrial policies that facilitate spillovers and backward linkages, and incentivize key PPP projects.

These enablers will require vision and commitment from political leaders but also from financing institutions, private sector and the broader development community, to provide support through technical assistance, capacity building, continuous dialogue, partnership and advisory services.

Overall, commitments to support Africa’s economic structural transformation have never been stronger with regard to the adopted SDG 9. These commitments put world leaders and partners at a center stage for operationalizing Africa’s industrialization. The time has come to transform these good intentions into tangible actions.

>> Source: Concept note PDF

About Africa Industrialization Day

Within the framework of the Second Industrial Development Decade for Africa (1991-2000), the UN General Assembly proclaimed 20 November Africa Industrialization Day (A/RES/44/237) in 1989.

The Day is intended to mobilize the commitment of the international community to the industrialization of Africa.

The important contribution of inclusive and sustainable industrialization in helping Africa to overcome its critical development challenges is clearly recognized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goal 9 calls to build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

More information on the observance >>