The African Development Bank (AfDB) has made a compelling case for industrialisation in order to create jobs, reduce poverty and promote inclusive economic growth.
Data from the Bank’s 2018 African Economic Outlook launched last week, shows that infrastructure projects were among the most profitable investments any society can make as they significantly contribute to, propel, and sustain a country’s economic growth.
“Infrastructure, when well-managed, provides the financial resources to do everything else,” said AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina. Dr Adesina said economic diversification is key to resolving many of the continent’s difficulties.
He asked African governments to encourage a shift towards labour-intensive industries, especially in rural areas where 70 per cent of the continent’s population resides.
“Agriculture must be at the forefront of Africa’s industrialisation. Integrated power and adequate transport infrastructure would facilitate economic integration, support agricultural value chain development and economies of scale,” said Dr Adesina.
He said economic diversification via industrialisation with tangible investment in human capital will enable the continent’s rapidly growing youth population to transition to productive technology-based sectors.