“Accelerate the industrialization of Africa”
The 53 th annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank and the 44 th assembly of the Council of the African Fund Governors development, concessional window of the Bank Group are held from 21 to 25 May 2018 in Busan, Korea.
While Africa has experienced strong economic growth for nearly two decades, industrialization has not developed to the same extent on the continent. On average, African industry generates only US $ 700 of GDP per capita, five times less than in East Asia (US $ 3,400 / capita). In addition, African exports are made up of low-technology manufactures and unprocessed natural resources, which account for over 80% of exports from Algeria, Angola and Nigeria, for example.
The rapid industrialization of Africa offers the possibility of a win-win scenario – for the world and certainly for the continent. It would also help to increase productivity by stimulating technological progress and innovation, while creating highly skilled jobs in the formal sector. It would also promote links between services and agricultural sectors, between rural and urban economies and between consumers, intermediaries and the capital goods industries. Industrialization will also reduce volatility – or the long-term trend of deterioration – in the prices of manufactured goods relative to raw materials, while helping African countries to overcome their dependence on exports of raw materials.
There is a lot of interest in this topic as Korean and Asian companies are increasingly active in Africa. What lessons can Africa draw from Korea’s development experience? Can Africa-Korea relations, built on a win-win model, allow the continent to claim a greater share of world trade? Can Afro-Asian trade and finance link the development of the African private sector? What are the effective policy levers that could promote structural transformation on the continent? How can Africa learn from the experiences of Korea and African nations best placed in this area, such as Mauritius, Morocco, Ethiopia and Rwanda, in the process of industrialization? These and other questions will be debated at the Busan Annual Meetings.
The Annual Meetings is one of the largest economic gatherings in Africa. Thousands of delegates, heads of state, representatives of the public and private sectors, development partners and academics will reflect on Africa’s industrialization – one of the Bank’s High 5 strategic priorities. to improve the living conditions of Africans.
During these meetings, the Bank organizes a series of knowledge-sharing activities to generate new ideas for developing and financing the industrialization of Africa. One of the highlights of these meetings is a high-level presidential roundtable entitled Accelerating Africa’s Industrialization: Opening the Present in the Future. The roundtable is an opportunity for Africa and Korea’s political leaders to present their visions and strategies for industrialization, as well as ideas for overcoming future challenges in implementation.
The Bank will launch the updated Economic Outlook for Africa (AEO) 2018 – its flagship economic publication. Several knowledge-sharing activities are on the agenda, including a panel on the Ways of Industrialization , in which speakers will discuss the different trajectories that African countries can follow towards sustainable industrialization. A panel on the Future of Work and Industrialization will examine how Africa can adapt its education systems and workers’ skills to the new economic realities, particularly for the continent’s industrial development.