Commissioner for trade and industry takes to Ethiopian airwaves

Africa's Commissioner for Trade and Industry Fatima Haram Acyl took to the radio waves Friday to update Ethiopian Afro Radio 105.3 FM's listeners on the organization's initiatives and how they could get involved.

Acyl spoke about the need to get industrialization moving forward, which would in turn decrease the continent's high unemployment rate. She pointed out that the continent has strong resources, both human and natural, and that it was necessary to become more self-sufficient so other funding sources, such as donors and multi-national loans, would not have to be used.

She also answered callers' questions about Africa's "Agenda 2063" initiative, which was established by the African Union Commission (AUC). The goals set forth in the initiative aim to transform Africa into an independent continent through sustainable development. Acyl also said Africa was "pretty backward in terms of industrialization."

"One of the factors that hinder industrialization in Africa is lack of productive capacities, technological capabilities and proper infrastructure," Acyl said. "However, this should not be seen in isolation of other key factors, including lack of political will at national level to implement continental initiatives; lack of key skills, lack of data that can inform the decision; lack of coherent policy frameworks that can steer industrialization through a bottom-up, value chain approach; innovation; incentives for Intellectual Property Rights; and investment attraction.”

Acyl spoke about the importance of continental value chains in strategic commodities, particularly in the agricultural and minerals sectors.

‘’This is the only way skilled and high-end employment, especially for our young people and women, can be created," Acyl said. "It is the only way for wealth to be created along these value chains. With the deepening of the integration agenda through the RECs’ intra-regional trade, the proposed Tripartite Free Trade Area among COMESA, EAC and SADC, and the looming Continental FTA, there will be seamless trade across borders, removal of trade barriers both Tariff and non-tariff, and free movement of people, capital and factors of production. This will promote sustainable economic growth and will contribute to the socio-economic transformation as envisioned under Agenda 2063."

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African Union Commission Roosevelt St Addis Ababa, Addis Ababa

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