Roundup: African leaders call for accelerating industrialization to achieve prosperity

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ACCRA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- African leaders attending the ongoing Africa Prosperity Dialogue in Ghana have urged the continent to propel industrialization to achieve prosperity at a faster pace.

The three-day dialogue, which kicked off Thursday in Ghana's Eastern Region, brought together many African leaders, experts, and stakeholders to delve into road maps for the continent's prosperity.

Speaking during the dialogue, Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said, "Without the capacity to industrialize, add value to our raw materials, and invest to build the social, digital, economic and physical infrastructures to connect our peoples and businesses to customers across Africa, intra-Africa trade would remain at the negligible lows that it has always been."

Akufo-Addo said Africa still needs to develop efficient transportation and logistics infrastructure, streamline trade processes, and embrace digital technologies to facilitate payments in cross-border transactions, to unlock the full potential of trade within the continent.

The president added that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would create opportunities for businesses to expand beyond their borders, driving economic growth and creating a more integrated and interconnected continent.

Akufo-Addo urged participants at the dialogue to critically examine the responsibilities and expectations of the private sector, demand the same of the public sector, and assess how both sides can work as partners to achieve "an Africa we want."

AfCFTA Secretary-General Wamkele Mene also said the collective aspiration of a prosperous Africa can only be achieved through enhanced production, value addition, and trade within the African continent.

Since the private sector is the pillar for achieving these goals, Mene said the AfCFTA Secretariat has been working to create the necessary conditions and environment for the private sector and economic operators to prosper.

He said the secretariat identified sectors such as agriculture, the automotive industry, the pharmaceutical industry, transport and logistics, which would combine to create and establish a market to attract at least 130 billion U.S. dollars worth of investments into the value chain development.

"It is crucial to deepen the one Africa market and prioritize products made in Africa. This approach is not just about reducing our dependence on imports from other countries; it is about actively producing and exporting goods that generate employment within Africa," Mene stressed.

Adding his voice to the calls, Joachim Chissano, former president of Mozambique, urged African governments and private sectors to build systems that would produce and add value to the products to feed Africans, and reduce hunger and poverty on the continent.

The Africa Prosperity Dialogue, organized by the AfCFTA Secretariat and the African Prosperity Network, a think tank, serves as an annual platform for Africa's leadership to engage, forge partnerships, and commit to achieving the African Union's Agenda 2063. Enditem

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