Launch of the Economic Report on Africa in Abidjan

Abidjan, 30 Sept 2014 (ECA) – To ensure that growth is both sustainable and beneficial to all strata of society in Africa, countries on the continent, including Cote d’Ivoire, must adopt industrial policies that are germane to their own local contexts and set up strong institutions with the mandate of formulating and pushing through such policies. These are the major recommendations of the Economic Report on Africa 2014 to be launched at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Abidjan on 02 October 2014.

The Report that is co-published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union Commission (AUC) incorporates several country case studies across Africa, including that of Cote d’Ivoire, partly relating the continent’s failure to transform itself industrially to inadequacies in industrial policy design. These deficiencies, the report says, results from the erroneous pursuit of a one-size fits all approach to industrialisation learnt from elsewhere, the lack of policy dynamism, gaps in high level coordination and the acute lack of consultations with all stakeholders especially those of the private sector. 

This year’s Report focuses on “Dynamic Industrial Policy in Africa: Innovative Institutions, Effective Processes and Flexible Mechanisms.”  The theme is a logical extension of the reflections started in recent editions of the report notably that of 2011 on the role of the state in economic transformation and that of 2013 on basing industrialisation on Africa’s vast raw materials. 

Beyond dissecting the difficulties on industrialising in Africa, the Report catalogues the experience of other countries of the South that have made huge progress in industrialising and suggests an institutional framework to conceive and implement industrial policies on the continent. It urges African governments, in a context of limited resources, to build tailor-made infrastructure that would respond to the needs of specific sectors or domains for industrial expansion. 

These issues will come under the scrutiny of economists, private sector actors and senior Ivorian civil servants, during the launch that has been placed under the patronage of the Government of Cote d’Ivoire.