Industrializing Africa is one of the High 5 strategic priorities of the African Development Bank.

Each year, Africa Industrialization Week offers key stakeholders an opportunity to reflect on how the continent can catalyze industrial growth. A week of events culminates in Africa Industrialization Day, celebrated every year on 20 November.

This year’s theme is Inclusive and sustainable industrialization in the AfCFTA era.

Let’s meet the industrialization experts at the African Development Bank, those pushing the agenda forward on behalf of the continent.

Abdu Mukhtar, Director of Industrial and Trade Development

COVID-19 has threatened to destabilize fragile health systems and economies in Africa. Director of Industrialization and Trade Development, Abdu Mukhtar, says the African Development Bank will prioritize sectors, such as pharmaceuticals and ICT education, and innovations like e-learning and telemedicine.

“You should industrialize to create jobs to increase productivity,” Mukhtar said. He also argued that the pandemic has set Africa back in terms of economic development and urged partners to rethink African development. He called for increased participation from the private sector and an improved environment for their participation. Watch his video below to learn more.

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Atsuko Toda, Director of Agricultural Finance and Rural Development

African smallholder families supply large amounts of food that becomes meals in Africa. However, food imports continue to rise to meet growing demands brought on by rising populations. Atsuko Toda, the Bank’s Director of Agricultural Finance and Rural Development, discusses the role of small and medium enterprises in Africa’s agro-industrialization trajectory. As urban population numbers increase, Toda suggests adding value to the agricultural ecosystem through investments in agro-processing and logistics, which retain agricultural value and allow countries to feed themselves.

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Martin Fregene, Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry

Martin Fregene, Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry at the African Development Bank, discusses the Bank’s integrated approach to agro-industrialization through production, processing and logistics. “Agro-industrialization is at the heart of value addition,” he said, adding that it should also be a development priority in Africa. In his remarks, Fregene gives an overview of the Bank’s strategy in this area, working with governments to create fiscal and training incentives for simultaneous use of land for production and processing. Watch the full video to learn more about these special agro-industrial processing zones, or SAPZs.

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To hear more from our industrialization agenda experts, click here.


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