KIGALI. — Economists on Tuesday urged African countries to make their industrial policies more effective in order to boost manufacturing exports, as the region focuses on continental integration to promote trade.
African countries need to make their industrial policies more effective based on economic specificities and opportunities to boost manufacturing exports, said Rodgers Mukwaya, an economist with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) at a panel session during the African Economic Conference held in Rwandan capital city Kigali from Monday to Wednesday.
“As we talk about regional integration to promote intra-African trade, we should focus on creating a more effective industrial policy that can enhance export base,” Mukwaya said.
Africa’s lack of effective and transformative industrial policy has hindered the growth of manufacturing exports, said Janvier Alofa, an economist of United Nations Development Programme.
“Africa’s industrial policy is poor compared to the rest of the world, that is why the majority of African economies largely depend on imports,” said Alofa.
She called on African countries to look for concrete ways to make industrial policies more effective and in line with regional and continental industrial development agenda.
Effective industrial policy must be customised and supported by governments that implement them, said Soazic Elise Wang Sonne, a World Bank Africa research fellow.
Sonne urged African economies to make industrial policy more effective by learning from experiences of
developed economies that have the largest share in the global trading.
The 13th edition of the annual conference, organised by the United Nations Development Programme and the ECA is held under the theme “Regional and Continental Integration for Africa’s Development.”
The conference focuses on initiatives for accelerating progress in infrastructure integration, including the removal of barriers for the movement of people and goods and services across borders. – Xinhua