The 2017 Economic Report on Africa (ERA) which highlights key policy priorities for consideration to ensure that the continent’s urbanization supports its industrialization has been launched.
The theme of this year’s edition of the flagship publication of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is ‘Urbanization and Industrialization for Africa’s Transformation’.
“For urbanisation to connect to industrialization, state policy and presence are inevitable. A viable industrial policy that identifies and taps into urban resources with strategic urban planning, is central in making urbanisation work for industrialisation,” noted ECA Director for the Sub-regional Office for Southern Africa, Said Adejumobi.
The policy intervention areas outlined in the 2017 ERA include linking urban and industrial strategies to broader national goals such as the creation of jobs, poverty reduction and improving the quality of life through national development planning.
Acknowledging the costs that come with urbanisation, Adejumobi highlighted its potential in supporting Africa’s industrialization with sufficient planning.
He singled out small-scale enterprises, the informal sector, technological innovation and a ready and capable workforce as some of the opportunities where a well-managed urbanization process can accelerate economic development in Africa.
John Mulongoti , the representative of Zambia’s Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry where the report was launched said, “The task before us now is to capitalize on our achievements thus far and exert even greater effort on follow-up actions such as ensuring that we reduce the cost of doing business for potential industrialists and investors, strengthen the institutions of governance and forge strategic partnerships with key stakeholders such as the private sector in harnessing the opportunities that rapid urbanization and industrialization present for structural transformation.”
He cited the adoption of new policies as some of the steps the Zambian government is taking to leverage its urbanization process to promote industrialization.