“We have a choice to make. The future is in our hands. Let’s go ahead and make the right choice” – Kagame

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President Paul Kagame emphasised the urgency of accelerating industrial development in Africa, highlighting that the pace remains too slow.

He made the address while chairing the opening ceremony of the 17th African Union Extraordinary Summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification, held recently in Niger.

“The pace of industrialisation in Africa remains too slow to achieve Africa’s development goals under Agenda 2063. We need to invest more of our national budgets in industrial policy, and significantly increase energy and infrastructure capacity,” Kagame said.

He added that stronger links between African universities and the private sector need to be created to promote a culture of innovation that includes young people.

According to Africa’s Industrial Revolution report, the continent’s drive for industrialisation 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.

The president and other African leaders have echoed the need to reverse the dependence on western countries by accelerating the process of industrialisation on the continent and strengthening the intra-African trade, which should be buoyed by the full operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Kagame “I congratulate Secretary-General Wamkele Mene, and his team, for the good progress so far made. Every year, more countries are depositing their instruments of ratification. It is a sign that we are on the right track.”

“Adding that “to create impact however, we need to move forward in unison and with a sense of urgency. It is important to finalise the remaining protocols and schedules of commitments.

Times have changed, and the economic unity of our continent is more important than ever. We have not come this far, to slow down. Time and time again, we are reminded of the importance of working together. No one can make it alone. That is what we need to do in the coming months to fully realize the potential of this historic agreement, and of our great continent.

Credits: Mark-Anthony Johnson