By ZBC Reporter
African countries have been urged to strengthen collaboration and speed up harmonization of national policies to the regional and continental agenda in order to accelerate industrialisation.
As the continent commemorated the Africa Industrialisation Day this Saturday, industrialists attending a workshop in Mutare to develop an action plan on the implementation of regional and national industrialisation policies to support industrial development in Zimbabwe, reflected on the importance of the day and what need to be done to speed up the industrialisation drive.
“This day is very important as we try to develop our economy. Harmonisation and alignment of industrialisation policies will make Zimbabwean and African products competitive. This helps us to prepare for the Africa continental Free Trade Area. As a nation for the Africa free trade area, we need to localise and strengthen our value chains and as we celebrate this important day, we are happy that we are sharing notes on issues of development,” said Fanuel Bokosi -Economic Affairs Officer in the inclusive industrialisation section at the United Nations Economic Commission for Southern Africa.
Bukosi also called for enhanced collaboration between African countries.
“We believe that industrialisation is the only way Africa is going to develop. It’s important that all the countries in the region aligns their policies with the regional and continental development industrialisation agenda. Zimbabwe has been the leading contender of industrialisation. There has been de-industrialisation in the past few years but this is the time for Zimbabwe to have a new a take-off and this is the time for Zimbabwe to reclaim her position as an industrial hub in the region. It is important that we bring all stakeholders together as industrialisation is not a responsibility for government alone. Zimbabwe needs collaboration with the private sector and similarly Zimbabwe needs to work with other members in SADC, COMESA and the entire Africa to make sure that industrialisation is the bases for the African continental free trade area,” he added.
Economic Affairs Officer for Economic Commission for Africa Sub Regional Office for Southern Africa Oliver Maponga spoke on the importance of the Africa Free Trade Area and the benefits it brings to Africa’s economy.
“The Africa free area is about trade and industrialisation.It is the route through which we can value, beneficiate and produce products that can penetrate not only the local market but global markets and ensure intra African trade that is very low can improves. We think harmonisation is key for the growth of the industry. It provides impetus for the growth of the industry. We need to expand in a harmonized environment. This will enable to focus on value chains in an expanded SADC and COMESA regions,” said Maponga.
Meanwhile, the Africa Industrialization Day is being held at a time Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi are working on the development of action plans on promotion and implementation of regional and national industrialisation policies for inclusive and sustainable development in southern Africa.