Addis Ababa, 18 March 2016 (ECA) - The Economic Commission for Africa will next month launch its 2016 edition of the Economic Report on Africa (ERA) focusing on growth and industrialization on the continent, revealing Africa last year recorded a 3.7 per cent growth rate, maintaining its growth rate level of the last few years.
The report will be launched on the sidelines of the annual Conference of African Ministers of Finance and Economic Development in Addis Ababa, on the 3rd of April.
Africa, the report says, is poised to become a trailblazer with a different approach to industrialization.
The evolution of renewable energy infrastructure and technologies over the last decade, coupled with the continent’s vast natural resource base offers a great opportunity to decarbonize Africa’s industrialization, according to the report.
The 2016 edition of the Economic Report on Africa, centering on Greening Africa’s Industrialization sets the tone on the future that Africa wants in its current wave of industrialization.
It prescribes an inclusive path oriented to create jobs, generate income and wealth; lift millions out of poverty and improve human welfare. It also seeks to cut down wasteful consumption, resource depletion and environmental degradation.
Ultimately, reads the report, a greener future holds the key to making good of Africa’s long-term development plans.
The ERA is the ECA’s annual flagship and the new edition offers a wealth of evidence-based information and a concrete package of policy options that can be taken up by member states for greening Africa’s industrialization.
The report, which builds on the key messages of the previous editions of the ERA focusing on industrialization and structural transformation, shows several large economies on the continent posted high and positive growth rates; Kenya at 6.4 per cent and Ethiopia at 7.3 per cent while South Africa maintained lower growth at 1.8 per cent.
ECA Executive Secretary Carlos Lopes says the report shows growth on the continent has been good but uneven.
“Notwithstanding the resurgence of growth that is being experienced in Africa today, performance is uneven and the continent as a whole is still confronted with enormous challenges,” said Lopes as he commented on the report ahead of the launch.
“These include adverse effects of climate change, falling commodity prices, infrastructure deficit, poverty, inequality, insecurity and instability in countries such as Central African Republic, South Sudan, Libya and Nigeria.”
The report emphasizes sustainable smart industrialization as the only way forward for the continent to transform.
It notes a lack of or inadequate infrastructure conducive for greening Africa’s industrialization process.
“For Africa to transform, we have to industrialize but not as the rest of the world has done,” says Lopes.
“Think forward to 2050; we need to develop and deploy green technologies that are clean, efficient and resource-saving as we add value to Africa’s natural resource-based activities for the sustainable transformation and development of the continent.”
Some of the issues highlighted in the report include Africa’s continued heavy dependence on its natural resources for industrialization.
“The emphasis is on demonstrating the need for Africa to industrialize but to do so in an environmentally-sustainable and socially-inclusive manner,” said Lopes of the report.
Economic Commission for Africa
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