AFRICANGLOBE – The emergence of poles of growth in Africa needs greater industrialization and diversification of the Continent’s productive base according to Messaitfa Bashir, Algeria’s Secretary of State to the Prime Minister of Forecasting and Statistics.
Chairing the dissemination event of the Economic Report on Africa (ERA 2013), the Minister praised the efforts that the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is deploying to assist African countries in this area and stressed the need to “undertake and develop all viable tools” to meet the requirements of industrialization for growth in Africa as whole, and the development of Algeria in particular.
As stated by an ECA official, the ERA 2013 shows that individually or collectively, African countries have a real opportunity to promote economic diversification and reduce poverty, inequality and unemployment. They can take advantage of the abundant natural resources and high international commodity prices, as well as the current changes in the way production processes are operating worldwide to conduct this structural transformation.
ERA 2013 analyzes the determinants of such a mutation and their interactions, and makes some key recommendations in order to place “industrialization at the service of growth, employment and economic transformation.”
A rich debate took place around the Report and its findings and recommendations; and was led by a number of academics and high-level experts. Mr Abdelhak Lamiri underlined that the document focused on macroeconomic policies and on the collective bargaining capacity of African countries as a prerequisite for development. The report, he said, repositions public policy at the center of development strategies to ensure that “the State does not disappear completely”, as the market on its own does not structure the whole economy.
According to him, many of the recommendations included in the Report should be developed, including by Algeria, namely those recommendations on the need to strengthen coordination and to develop institutions that can ensure coherence in the implementation of economic development policy.
For his part, Mr Rafik Bouklia-Hassan said the Report is instructive and has succeeded in highlighting the role of the State as a strategist, but also as an instigator and a facilitator. He stressed the need to strengthen the “competitive” dimension both in industrial policies and in developing regional value chains.
Talking about Algeria, Mr Youcef Ben Abdallah indicated that its non-oil added value was reduced by 50% over the past 20 years. Currently, the State is implementing an ambitious policy to recover its industrial base. This observation is actually consistent with the objectives of the Report which focused on the ways and means to “take full advantage of commodities”.
In addition to the Secretary of State to the Prime Minister in charge of Forecasting and Statistics, many representatives of various line ministries, economic development agencies, the diplomatic corps, representatives of the civil society, the private sector, academics, students and media professionals attended the launch of the Report.