By Nyasha Mutena
The African Union’s Africa Industrialisation Week has kick-started virtually today November the 16th and will run until the 20th of November 2020 under the theme “Inclusive and sustainable industrialisation in the AfCFTA era”.
Cognizant of the necessity of industrialization for structural transformation, 20th November was set aside annually as Africa Industrialization Day (AID).
The day was adopted by the assembly of heads of states and government of the organization of African Unity at its Twenty-fifth Ordinary Session held on 26 July 1989 Addis Ababa, Resolution AHG/Res. 180 (XXV), which was followed by the UN General Assembly “UNGA” Resolution 44/237 of 22 December 1989.
The AID provides an opportunity for key stakeholders to reflect on Africa’s industrialization by looking at how the continent can change its current status quo.
Since 2018, Africa Industrialization Day has been successfully commemorated with weeklong events, an innovation marking a departure from the one-day set-up tradition to afford more time given its significance to Africa’s cause for delivering structural transformation, as an entry point towards meeting the objectives of Agenda 2063, and SDGs, 2030.
It is given the need to uphold the statutory political mandate to drive advocacy on Africa’s structural transformation, and building on the current momentum that the Africa Union Commission, will be hosting the 2020 Africa Industrialization Week celebrations (Aiw2020) from the 16th to 20th November 2020 Under the Theme “Inclusive and sustainable industrialisation in the AfCFTA and COVID-19 era”.
Given the changed circumstances on account of the Covid-19 pandemic that has seized the global economy since early 2020, this year’s celebrations will be coordinated by the AUC Department of Trade and Industry through Virtual media tools. (Zoom Conference/Webinar Session Series).
The AUC will host co-organize the event in conjunction with AUDA-NEPAD, UNIDO, UNECA, and AfroChampions.
This year’s celebrations present a unique opportunity to consolidate the continent’s vision to build a self-resilient Africa, Africa We Want, given remarkable political traction on regional economic integration, as confirmed by milestones this far on the trade front through the fruition of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a liberal trading regime that will create an enlarged US$3 trillion market, with 1.27 billion consumers.
The main idea of the AfCFTA is improved coordination of African countries and a gradual transition from an export-import model (unfavorable for the continent) to a self-sufficient and strong unit capable of competing with other major economies and finally being able to make quality products labeled Made in Africa.