IDEP’s Short Course Reiterates the Central Role of Regional Integration in African Industrial Development

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Dakar, Senegal, 28 May 2013 (IDEP) - According to the 2013 Economic Report on Africa on making the most of Africa’s Commodities, the key challenge for  African  countries  today  is  how  to  design and implement effective policies  to promote industrialization and economic transformation. In line with its mandate, IDEP effectively participates in this promotion through its short course on “Industrial Policy in Africa” whose 2013 edition concluded this month at the headquarters of the institute in Dakar, Senegal.

In the course of the training, it was noted that Africa accounts for a very low share of global manufacturing and as such it needs markets for its industrial goods. It was also pointed out that Africa comprises 54 countries that are not integrated and that have many borders and boundaries, resulting in small and fragmented markets.

The various speakers stressed the central role of regional integration in the development of African industries. They recognized that the low level of intra-African trade presents a major challenge that needs to be overcome through more developed and improved infrastructure that could facilitate trading amongst African countries. They also elaborated on many barriers to intra-African trade, including the challenge of moving goods across African borders, which discourages investment and trade.

According  to  the  African  Economic  Outlook  2013, trade between African countries  is  currently estimated at 10% - 12% of the continent’s total, a long  way  behind  other regions. Based on 2009 figures, trade within North American countries was about 48% of the total, while 72% of Europe’s trade is between the countries in the region and the figure for Asia was 52%.

“We, Africans, should have the courage to change things to build the better Africa”, said the speakers backed up by the representative of the trainees, who quoted an old African proverb: “if you want to go far, go together”.

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Issued by:
IDEP Communications
PO Box 3186 CP 18524
Dakar, Senegal
Tel: +221 33 823 10 20
Email: idep@unidep.org