Launch of the Economic Report on Africa 2014 in Brazzaville

Yaounde, 08 June 2014 (ECA) – The Republic of Congo would benefit from conceiving and connecting a clear an operational industrial policy strategy to its current National Development Plan, in order to meet its objectives of the development of agro-industry, the processing of natural and the manufacture of construction materials, says the Economic Report on Africa, to be launched in Brazzaville on 12 June 2014. The Report, which is co-published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC), will be launched in the conference hall of Congo’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Brazzaville.

Written on the basis of eleven country case studies across the African continent, including that of Congo, the report calls on African countries to introduce credible industrial policies and promote effective industrial policy organizations to enhance the structural transformation of the continent.

According to the report, transforming Africa’s industrial landscape has failed partly because countries used industrial blueprints characterized by the lack of dynamism and high level coordination, as well as inadequate consultations with stakeholders, notably those of the private sector.

The theme of this year’s report is “Dynamic industrial policy in Africa: innovative institutions, effective processes and flexible mechanisms.” This builds on the previous work of the 2011 edition on the role of the state in economic transformation and last year’s report on leveraging Africa’s comparative advantages in commodities to industrialize.

Beyond an analysis of the continent’s industrialization problems, and based on the experience of industrializing countries in the global south, the report offers an institutional framework for designing and implementing industrial policy in Africa and recommends that governments with few resources should create “pockets of infrastructure” focused on sectoral or clustering needs of industrial expansion.

These reflections will provide the elements for a discussion between economists and top Congolese civil service officials of at the launch, which will be opened by Congo’s Minister of Industry and Private Sector Promotion – Mr Isidore Mvouba.