The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), has said that Africa can industrialise, integrate, and finance its development without depending on foreign support.
Mr Adam Elhiraika, the Director, Macro Economic Policy Division at ECA, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the continent could not afford to continue receiving aid.
”We have the momentum and historical opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Area ( AfCFTA) and the growing integration of African economies.
”Now is the time for African policymakers and economists to move beyond orthodox, mainstream economics theories that used to tell us that we cannot integrate.
”Theories that say we cannot industrialise or finance our development and that we need aid for trade.
”We cannot continue to receive aid to dig and to produce primary commodities that we export for processing elsewhere,” he said.
Elhiraika said it was time for this to stop with industrial strategies that enforced local contexts, promoted regional value chains, or promoted partnerships between public and private sectors.
He then called for integration between Africa’s small and medium enterprises with lead firms and creating economic or manufacturing zones that work for Africa.
The director reiterated the importance of promoting and supporting foreign direct and mystic investments on the continent.
According to him, this will destroy backwards and forward linkages within Africa that produce goods consumed by Africans and then provide export opportunities for African countries.
Elhiraika said the just concluded Africa Economic Conference (AEC) in Addis-Ababa reiterated the various issues hindering industrial development in Africa.
”This includes opportunities for industrial development, challenges, and how they can be addressed.
”The deliberations include plenary sessions, special events, and paper presentations. 35 papers produced by young Africans and experienced African economists were presented during this meeting.
”The key issue being deliberated was how to promote industrialisation in Africa,” he said. (NAN)