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President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa flies out

President Mnangagwa is in Niamey, Niger, for the African Union (AU) Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification.
The summit, titled “Industrializing Africa: Renewed Commitment to Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Economic Diversification,” is designed to unlock a thriving Pan-African entrepreneurial and capital base.

It’s part of Africa Industry Week (AIW – 20-25 November 2022), an annual celebration of Africa’s renewed commitment to industrialisation.

Transforming the region’s economy through industrialization is important to achieving the continent’s growth and development goals, as outlined in African Agenda 2063 and the worldwide 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum invited President Mnangagwa to the high-level indaba.

AU Commission officials and representatives of its key organs, ministries responsible for industry and trade, mining, development partner agencies, manufacturing and commerce leaders, civic society and investment financiers are anticipated to attend.

Dr. Sekai Nzenza, Zimbabwe’s Industry and Commerce Minister, arrived in Niamey earlier this week and attended the Extraordinary Session of the AU Executive Council on Wednesday. He said Zimbabwe’s participation in the summit was strategic because it is pursuing a comprehensive industrialisation drive anchored on revitalising value chains.

She said President Mnangagwa was leading Zimbabwe to private sector-led growth and massive trade opportunities within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“The Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy offers the foundation for industry and commerce’s structural development.

“Under President Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe is growing in output, productivity, and industrial capacity utilization,” stated Dr. Nzenza.

As a pioneer AfCFTA Agreement signatory, Zimbabwe has rooted its industrialization policy to tap into greater commercial prospects in a regionally linked economic realm, said Dr. Nzenza. What remains is scaling up private sector awareness and buy-in.

Dr. Nzenza said the meeting should assist unlock value chain financing as a vital enabler for sustained regional change.

“Africa’s industrialization story is value addition. We can’t have resilient industries while exporting raw materials, she remarked.

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Zimbabwe has also asked the AU Secretariat to map Africa’s value chain so regional countries can leverage each other’s capabilities as they industrialize and trade.

As part of attempts to improve regional industrialization collaboration, Zimbabwe and Zambia have begun a cooperative project to construct a Common Agro-Industrial Park based on comparative advantages in the agricultural sector.

The project will be the first of its kind in Southern Africa, and hopes are high that the model will be duplicated as the area explores AfCFTA potential.

The AU said this week’s meeting aims to rally political momentum, resources, partnerships, and alliances for a unique Africa-industrialisation drive.

The summit is expected to unleash an inclusive and sustainable industrialization pathway that includes SMEs, youth, and women in the creation of national wealth, jobs, and entrepreneurship prospects. Herald

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