The Capacity Development Division (CDD) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) will be hosting a High Level Policy Dialogue on Smart Industrial Policies in Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, on 17 -18 September 2015.
Evidence from past (18th century Britain) and more recent successful experiences (East Asia and Latin America) shows that an active industrial policy has been key to advancing national economic development efforts. However, the conditions under which African countries will advance industrialization have changed and thus the need for industrial policy measures that are context based through careful policy rebranding and refitting as well as policy measures for smart specialization in regional and global value chains, smart sequencing of negotiations and implementation of trade and investment policies and agreements. Also required is a measured framework of engagement to address the opportunities and challenges of new economic powers such as China, India, and Brazil.
In this regards, smart industrial policies present an opportunity for reclaiming policy space as governments can develop industrial policies that build the necessary capabilities which respond to national and regional needs and within the confines of global rules.
ECA has consistently placed emphasis on the importance of industrialization in advancing structural transformation and inclusive growth in Africa through various policy options presented in the Economic Report on Africa 2013 to 2015. A specialist paper that will be presented during the dialogue provides an interface for developing and implementing smart industrial policies. . The High-Level policy dialogue is expected to:
- Serve as a platform for rebuilding a pan-African network on Industrialization
- Generate greater appreciation of the nexus between trade and industrial policies to fast track industrialization.
- Engage seasoned scholars and experts in the fields of industrial and trade policy, global value chains and investment.
Its is expected that the High Level Policy Dialogue will be attended by Member States’ Officials such as Permanent Secretaries, Directors General or their equivalents in charge of Industrialization. Representatives from the African Union Commission (AUC) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) will also be present.