Niamey, 20 June 2014 (ECA) - “The enhanced structural transformation of the African continent requires the adoption of credible industrial policies and the creation of efficient structures to implement them”. This was the point made in the speech by the Minister of State, Minister of Planning, Land Improvement and Community Development of Niger, His Excellency Mr. Amadou Boubacar Cissé during the launching on Friday June 20, 2014, in the Conference Room of his Ministry, of the Economic Report on Africa 2014, entitled,“Dynamic Industrial Policy in Africa: innovative institutions, effective processes and flexible mechanisms”.
The launching ceremony, which took place in the presence of the Minister forIndustrial Development of Niger, was organized by the ECA/SRO-WA, together with the Government of Niger and the Universityof Abdou Moumouni of Niamey.
In his speech, the Minister of State first recalled that « the Economic Report on Africa, as the flagship publication of the ECA, has the objective of opening the continental debate around emerging problems in the economic and social sectors in order to contribute to the structural transformation of our economies”. Mr. Amadou Boubacar Cissé also reaffirmed the determination of the Government of the Republic of Niger to stimulate the development of the national industrial sector through the recent adoption of a new investment code and the promotion of industrial zones as incentive instruments in the framework of the promotion of the sector.
The Director of the West African Sub-Regional Office of the Economic Commission for Africa, (ECA/SRO-WA), Mr. Dimitri Sanga, on this occasion made a succinct presentationof the new strategic orientations of the ECA anchored in the need to accompany the structural transformation of the economies of the continent with industrialization as one of the major pillars of a process oriented towards more robust and inclusive growth that creates jobs and reduces inequalities and poverty.
Following this, Mr. Joseph Foumbi, Economist, Chief of the Regional Initiatives Section at the ECA/SRO-WA, presented the Economic Report on Africa 2014,placing a special emphasis on its ten key messages. The ceremony continued with speeches by the Representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Niger and by the delegate of the University of Niamey as well as with remarks by the Minister for Industrial Development of Niger.
The presentations and the rich discussions complemented the ceremony and highlighted for Niger, as strategies of industrial promotion, the need to invest in infrastructures, especially those for the production of electricity and transportation, to improve the overall business climate and access to industrial financing and to strengthen the development of human capital and of entrepreneurship. Niger and the other African states are encouraged to enhance their systems of innovation and standardizationin order to establish appropriate foundations for sustainable industrial development in the region. The role of regional integration was underlined in particular as a source of economies of scale and a driver for industrial competitivity.
The participants commended the efforts of the ECA in the identification and promotion of relevant economic policies for Africa and expressed the wish to see the Economic Report on Africa 2014 presented to other specific circles of academia, business and civil society in order to stimulate deeper debate and dialogue on the problem of industrialization in Africa and particularly in Niger.
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