Industrialization, a prerequisite to achieve economic transformation in North Africa

The 29th session of North Africa Intergovernmental Committee of Experts meeting soon in Rabat

Rabat, 27 February 2014-  How to meet the challenges of structural transformation of North African economies to increase growth that will help generate more wealth and create more quality jobs?  This is the theme of the 29th session of North Africa’s Intergovernmental Committee meeting that ECA Office for North Africa is organizing from 4 to 6 March 2014 in Rabat, Morocco.

The CIE is the deliberative organ of ECA Office for North Africa and includes representatives of seven countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco,  Sudan and Tunisia . It holds its statutory meeting every year and provides a platform to share information and exchange views on the economic and social situation in the region, develop and implement a North African perspective on major socioeconomic issues and guide and monitor the work of the ECA Office for North Africa. The outcomes and recommendations issued by ICE meetings are submitted for consideration and adoption to ECA’s Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development

This year, the 29th ICE meeting will focus on "Industrialization for sustainable and inclusive development in North Africa." It echoes the theme of the upcoming Conference of African Ministers of economic development that shall address the same topic at the continental level. Its meeting will be held within the overall framework of ECA’s new strategic orientations that give precedence to structural transformation of African economies and to a review of its activities to better meet this objective by promoting the production of more reliable statistics, as well as research, in order to help formulate adequate development policies and strategies .

Asked about the reason why this particular theme was chosen, Ms. Karima Bounemra, Director of the ECA Office for North Africa said «selecting this theme was inspired by the general theme of the Conference of Ministers, but this choice stems also from the fact that industrialization is a must for the structural transformation of north African economies. The efficiency of industrial policies depends today on a number of factors mainly: their inclusiveness, good coordination between monitoring institutions, their ability to create stable and quality jobs, and effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.” 

 One of the highlights of ICE will be the Roundtable on the theme "Developing regional value chains to accelerate North Africa’s economic diversification and sophistication”. Its purpose is to develop a coordinated perspective and an operational strategy for the development of value chains at the regional level that  can play a leading role in the structural transformation of North African economies, and facilitate their integration into global value chains .

Strengthening trade integration in North Africa, associated with its developing infrastructure both represent real assets to develop value chains in the region, but also between North Africa and its African and Mediterranean neighbors.

During its three-day meeting, the  ICE will also discuss issues related to Post -2015 development agenda, the objectives of sustainable development, the 2063 vision for North Africa, as well as regional integration. In this regard, ECA has developed a special Index to measure progress made by member states and RECs such the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) in the area of regional integration.