The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and its training arm, the United Nations Institute of Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), have partnered with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to offer an e-learning course based on the ECA’s Economic Report for Africa 2015 (ERA 2015).
The course will provide participants from government, business, civil society and academia with a better understanding of how trade can serve as an instrument of accelerated industrialization and structural transformation in Africa.
The e-learning course, which will be held from 26 September to November 4, will focus on industrialization, trade, growth and structural transformation on the continent.
Africa’s growth continued to increase, rising from 3.7 per cent in 2013 to 3.9 per cent in 2014. The performance was underpinned by improved macro-economic management, diversified trade and investment ties with emerging economies, among other factors.
On the other hand, the continent’s social development indicators reveal the weakness of the observed economic performance; high unemployment and poverty co-existing with robust growth.
Industrialization will address this paradox by promoting economic diversification, inclusive growth, efficient utilisation of abundant physical, mineral and human resources on the continent and in the process eliminate poverty and structurally transform African economies.
The course will also look at trade which continues to play a major role in Africa’s economic growth performance and has the potential to promote trade-induced industrialization of the continent provided it is deliberately directed at industrialization.
“For this purpose, trade policy must be consciously designed, effectively implemented and managed with regular monitoring and evaluation,” the three organisations say in statement about the course.
“Such a policy must recognise and tap into developments in the global production system especially internationalisation of production system with an objective to promote value addition through processing and manufacturing.”
The goal of trade-induced industrialization, they add, must also guide the conduct, negotiations and implementation of trade and investment agreements and arrangements.