Praia: actors from all horizons and all capacities reflect on trade

Praia, October 8, 2015 (ECA) - After Dakar in June 2015, the ECA chose the Cape Verde peninsula for a new launching of the 2015 edition of the Economic Report on Africa (ERA) in the ECOWAS region. This report focuses on trade as a potential lever for the industrialization of Africa.

The launching ceremony saw the participation of over one hundred high-level personalities including Ministers, Secretaries of State, Ambassadors, Representatives of all the agencies of the United Nations System, General Directors of the government administration, Parliamentarians, Representatives of civil society and the private sector, unions, the press and researchers.

In her launching speech, the President of the ceremony, the Minister of Tourism, Investments and Business Development of Cape Verde first welcomed the choice of Praia to host the launching of the ERA 2015 which reflects the mark of consideration for her country by the ECA and she thanked everyone for all their efforts in favor of the development of her country. She then presented the economic and social performances of the country during these last few years before focusing on the great reforms and policies undertaken by her department in the development of the tourism sector, which constitutes their main source of export revenues after those of seafood products.  Finally, she underlined the efforts undertaken by the Government of Cape Verde to bring about the structural transformation of the economy through a real selective industrial policy and the total modernization of the service sector for which the importance of the contribution to the creation of the GDP is undermined by the predominance of the informal sector.

In his welcoming address, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System commended the presence of the highest authorities of the country and the qualitative and quantitative importance of the participants, who, for her, “reflect their interest in the ERA 2015 and consequently the will of Cape Verde to ensure the finalization of its structural transformation through industrialization.” She then drew attention to some of the key messages and main results of the ERA 2015 as well as the industrialization efforts made by African countries and the major challenges to meet.

The presentation of the ERA 2015, entitled “Industrializing through Trade” by Mamoudou SEBEGO of the ECA, was structured around three essential points, through which he brought out (i) the key messages, (ii) the main results, and (iii) the main conclusions and recommendations.

His presentation was followed by that of M. Amilcar MONTEIRO, Director General of Industry and Trade of Cape Verde which focused on the major reforms and policies underway in his department in order to ensure the improved coherence and integration in the process of development of the sectors of trade and industry on the peninsula.

The two presentations were the subject of a discussion session with the participants, the main preoccupations of which were in particular: the importance of education in industrialization and consequently in the structural transformation of economies; the absence of a major place granted to trade in the Sustainable Development Goals which have just been adopted along with their specific targets; consideration for the issue of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) in the ERA 2015.

The Representative of the ECA took advantage of his stay in Praia to discuss subjects of major importance with the national authorities, such as improving the national statistical systems, revitalizing the planning system and collecting data for the Cape Verde country profile.

He thus met with the Secretary of State for Finance, who appreciated the interest that the ECA has granted to his department and expressed the wish to benefit from its technical assistance in order to improve the national system of planning, monitoring-evaluation and to set up the programme budget, including the privatization reforms underway. She also expressed the great interest of her department in the ECA country profiles before expressing the hope that the Cape Verde country profile, which is being finalized, could be a real tool to assist in decision-making for the Ministry of Planning and Finance.

Regarding his discussions with the President of the National Statistical Institute (INS), they focused on the operation of the national statistical system, the publications of the INS and the collaboration with the ECA in the framework of the production of the country profile. The INS of Cape Verde, according to its President, “provides technical support to strengthen the statistical systems of the INS of Angola, South Africa, Senegal and Guinea Bissau”. Thus, the ECA could establish a fruitful collaboration with them so that other African countries could benefit from their experience in terms of statistical production. In addition, he marked the full availability and the willingness of his structure to work with the ECA and to accompany it in the collection of statistical data for the production of the country profiles and for supplying its database. 


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