Raising awareness of the progress that has been made in the industrialisation of the African continent and, on the other hand, of the challenges that the coming years will bring – these are the topics of this year’s Africa Industrialisation Week (AIW) which is taking place from 16 to 20 November. Like so many other events this year, the AIW is held virtually, in the form of several online events. The main focus of the week organized by the African Union (AU) is industrialisation in the age of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Stakeholders from a wide range of sectors are gathering not only to consolidate the common vision of an economically resilient and independent Africa, but also to actively promote this vision.
We are pleased that PTB is also represented at the AIW. Within the framework of the side event Quality Infrastructure for Sustainable Industrialisation in Africa Dr Barbara Siegmund, Head of the Sub-Saharan Africa Section, gave a lecture on the topic of Demystifying Quality Infrastructure: The Interplay between QI Components and Their Role in Facilitating Trade and Industrialisation on 17 November 2020. With the aid of this panel, the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) and the AU want to raise awareness of the relevance of quality infrastructure in industrialisation. According to the organisers, QI is a key stimulus for sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Africa, a bridge between industry and markets and an invisible pillar on which they are based.
Naturally, this pillar is also of great importance for the implementation of the AfCFTA. Uniform regulations for standards and recognition procedures, for example, facilitate intra-African trade immensely and help to tap Africa’s hitherto unused economic potential. Developing this potential appears all the more urgent since the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the domestic dependence on imports and foreign trade. The expansion of cross-border trade, the creation of intra-African value chains and the focus on small and medium-sized enterprises are important steps on the way to an economically stable and independent Africa.
If you are interested you can still register for the remaining events of the AIW at: https://au.int/ar/node/39567
The background: According to the AU, economic development through industrialisation represents the greatest challenge for African politics, science and trade experts since the continent’s independence. On 20 November 1989 the AU – formerly the Organization of African Unity (OAU) – declared the African Industrialisation Day. Since 2018, this day has been celebrated within the scope of the AIW which brings together stakeholders from the private sector, African governments, international cooperation, youth and women’s movements as well as many other areas.
Image © African Union, 2020