Thousands of people have arrived in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, for the 2019 Africa Industrialization Week at the African Union Headquarters. It is holding 18-20 November 2019.
It is a massive gathering of industrial policymakers, private sector leaders, civil society and development cooperating partners.
Their aim is to strategize on how to better place Africa’s industrial sector.
Expected to run on the theme, “Positioning African Industry to supply the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) Market“, the industrialization week is organized by the African Union, The Government of Ethiopia, International Trade Center (ITC), Korea-Africa Foundation, Africa Free Zones Organization & Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) office of the AU.
It was first observed on November 20, 1990 and since then, the Africa Industrialization Day (AID), represents a unique platform to enhance international cooperation and dialogue on the pan-African industrialization agenda, and to raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges associated with this innovation drive.
Yearly, it gathers African leaders, policymakers, and representatives of the private sector, academia, international financial institutions (IFIs) and development partners to showcase the continued relevance of the industry, including manufacturing production, as a powerful engine to build Africa in line with Agenda 2063 as set by the African Union.
For three days, discussion at the AU headquarters will focus on mobilizing both African and leaders from the rest of the world, including international development organizations, to advocate for the accelerated and sustainable as well as inclusive industrialization of Africa.
It would also serve as a platform to promote startups, small and medium-sized enterprises/industries (SMEIs), as well as established middle and high-cap enterprises, for the purpose of strengthening the continent’s capacity to integrate into the global production and trading system.
The 2019 Africa Industrialization Week provides a platform for public-private engagement between industrial policymakers, the private sector, civil society, and development cooperating partners.
It also provides an opportunity for African manufacturers to learn from their counterparts from the rest of the world.
The implementation of AU continental frameworks such as; the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA); the Africa Mining Vision (AMV), the SME Strategy; the Boosting Intra-African Trade strategy (BIAT); the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); and the UN General Assembly’s Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III) in the context of Agenda 2063 will all feature talks between stakeholders.
Ngozi Oyewole, CEO of Noxie limited, a wholly Nigeria woman owned company, which manufactures office furniture and provides services in the areas of integrated safety equipment is amongst those in attendance.
She told TODAY NEWS AFRICA USA from Addis that “industrialization is what Africa needs to be less dependent on other nations and focus on her rich resources”.
As a very result driven and resilient person Ngozi Oyewole said “working in the male dominated industry has pushed me hard to fight for a seat at the table in my industry”.
“It’s important that women entrepreneurs like me in the manufacturing sector are taken seriously and must be represented well in AU’s quest for awareness, especially about where the continent is and the solution for the challenges it’s facing,” she added.