The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), a South Africa based information organization, has invited policy makers, researchers, business leaders, entrepreneurs and academics to the 8th Africa Union Renaissance Conference (AURC 2018), on Accelerating Industrialization in Africa.
The event is set to be held from the 23rd to the 25th of May 2018 in Pretoria, South Africa.
The affair comes at a time when Africa’s regional economic communities (RECs) have all designed industrial policies aimed at growing their economies, creating jobs and reducing poverty.
However, the HSRC argues that the implementation of existing industrial action plans in African countries and regions has, to a large extent, not yielded desired development outcomes.
“Instead, a de-industrialisation trend can be observed over the last few decades, leading to high unemployment rates with approximately half the continent’s population currently living in extreme poverty,” the organization said in a statement released this May.
The group stipulates that these challenging realities have been related to the continent’s overdependence on natural resources, declining agricultural production, underdeveloped infrastructure, inadequate human capacity, and unfavourable terms of trade among others.
“Under the current global dispensation, it is arguable that, without industrialisation, Africa cannot be on a sustainable path for economic development, job creation and poverty alleviation,” HSRC officials said in their statement.
However, recent decades have seen an intensification of efforts towards industrialisation. Consequently, a number of initiatives are underway to enhance the depth and breadth of industrialisation in Africa.
These range from the construction of a Standard Gauge Railway linking parts of East Africa, to the development of clean energy plants across the continent.
The HSRC believes that these initiatives are core to the realisation of the aspirations of an initiative titled ‘Agenda 2063 -The Africa We Want’, specifically “A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development” aspiration.
Agenda 2063 further expresses the need for and importance of regional economic linkages as a critical step to Africa’s aspirations to integrate and industrialise.
To advance the discussion on industrialising Africa, the Human Sciences Research Council, through its Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA), and in collaboration with The Department of Science and Technology, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, plans to host the Conference, which will be held under the theme; “Accelerating industrialisation in Africa: implications for job creation and poverty alleviation.”