Commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission Fatima Haram Acyl held a press conference Thursday at the 26th African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government to discuss the role of industry and trade in Africa's development.
Acyl described the need for industrialization in Africa as urgent and necessary in order to help the continent reach the goals of the AU's 50-year action plan, Agenda 2063. She also mentioned the need to support the AU's ambition to facilitate broad structural improvements and provide sustainable work opportunities to elevate the standard of living in Africa, particularly for women and young people.
Acyl pointed to the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) and the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) as two initiatives that would be key to accomplishing these goals. The AMV provides technical assistance for developing an African-owned mining sector over a five-year period, and the CFTA would create a goods and services market to serve more than a billion people.
AU officials estimate that the agreement would raise intra-African trade by as much as $35 billion per year. Acyl said her office is working on a continent-wide plan for stabilizing commodity prices.
“The strategy reviews the state of play of agriculture, mining and energy commodities in Africa and identifies and articulates areas of national, regional and continental policy and will be finalized this year," Acyl said.
The 26th African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government is a 10-day gathering of leaders from across Africa being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, through Sunday.