Africa’s foremost financial institution, the African Development Bank (AfDB), has made a compelling case for accelerating industrialisation in order to create jobs, reduce poverty and promote inclusive economic growth.
The President of the Bank believes agriculture needs to at the forefront in the continent’s industrialisation drive.
In the Bank’s 2018 Economic Outlook launched in Abidjan by its President, Akinwumi Adesina, he singled out infrastructure investments as the most profitable any society can make. The report emphasises the need to develop Africa’s infrastructure, and recommends new strategies and innovative financing instruments that African countries can consider. As indicated by President Akufo-Addo last week when he met the media at the Flagstaff House, the economy is on track – and this was buttressed by the favourable macroeconomic indicators chalked up by his administration in the course of last year.
Indeed, government is prosecuting an ambitious industrialisation agenda with its 1D1F which is anchored predominately on agro-industries. We are confident that if it is pursued diligently, the country will not be far from achieving its stated aim of moving beyond aid to being a global competitor.
To this end, putting in place the right infrastructure is crucial: like construction of access roads to key agricultural producing areas, such as the cashew belt in the Brong Ahafo Region. There has been a conscious effort to repair all roads leading to cocoa producing areas of the country, since cocoa is the major export crop. Similarly, the same can be replicated for cashew in view of its importance as a non-traditional export commodity.
A lot of emphasis has been placed on the 1D1F, primarily because of its potential to create jobs and reduce rural poverty. Also, it will maintain the youth in their home districts and curb the rural-urban drift that sees the mushrooming of slums in cities and towns where economic activity is brisk.
Therefore, we cannot relent now that the right policy choices are being made to propel the economy to further growth. Another area that needs some attention is diversification of the economy, and the Bank believes this can best be achieved via industrialisation.