President Paul Kagame on Thursday arrived in Niamey, Niger for the African Union Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, according to the Presidency.
The summit themed “Industrialising Africa: Renewed commitment towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Economic Diversification” is running from November 20 to 25.
It is convened as part of the Africa Industrialization Week annual commemorative activities and for this year, the focus is on reflecting on the lessons learned and accelerating the achievement of structural transformation by speeding up production capabilities, the rate of innovation and increasing welfare gains.
According to Africa’s Industrial Revolution report, the continent’s drive for industrialization will benefit from an innovative policy mix that combines the focus on traditional manufacturing with a forward-looking focus on new and emerging high-sophisticated opportunities.
Despite progress marked over the years, Rwanda seeks more manufactures to drive domestic value addition chain and economic growth. The government has since introduced incentives to the industry under the ‘Manufacture and Build to Recover Programme,’ with an aim to foster economic recovery following a recession resulting from the Covid-19.
Rwanda’s industry consists of mining and quarrying, as well as manufacturing which include food, beverages and tobacco, textiles, clothing and leather goods.
Other products of manufacturing include wood and paper; printing, chemicals, rubber and plastic products, non-metallic mineral products, metal products, machinery and equipment, furniture and other manufacturing, water and waste management, and construction.
African leaders have been echoing the need to reverse the dependence on western countries by accelerating the process of industrialization on the continent and strengthening the intra-African trade which should be buoyed by the full operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
It is within that line that they are convening to assess and deliberate on how to address challenges hindering countries from realizing the full potential of a market of 1.3 billion people with a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion.