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Accelerating Industrialisation in Africa

In goodmorning bsn! by Business School Netherlands

Africa, with its vast potential and abundant natural resources, stands at a crucial juncture in its quest for accelerated industrialisation. In a recent edition of Goodmorning BSN!, Dr. Olumide Ajayi, Director of Business School Netherlands Nigeria, and Ody Akhanoba, Senior Manager at the African Export-Import Bank, explored key factors and strategies needed to propel industrialisation in the continent.

Unlocking Africa’s Potential

Olumide, a seasoned development expert, underscored Africa’s wealth of resources, emphasising the need for a shift from exporting raw materials to value-added products. He highlighted the challenges of exporting 69% of the world’s raw cocoa but only 16% of ground cocoa, illustrating the potential for structural transformation through value addition.

The importance of industrial parks was highlighted as a catalyst for boosting production and export capacity. These parks bring together manufacturers, providing essential tools and infrastructure that individual businesses might struggle to obtain independently. Olumide cited the success of industrial parks in Ethiopia as a positive example of industrialisation.

Addressing critical issues like food security, youth unemployment, and the low contribution to the global GDP, Olumide proposes a holistic strategy for industrialisation. This strategy involves leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area, empowering youth through targeted programmes, and fostering technological advancements to overcome trade impediments.

The AL Institute, led by Dr. Mohamed Yacine, played a significant role in establishing Action Learning in Algeria, a teaching methodology that involves small groups addressing real problems. This approach is at the core of BSN’s strategy, and participants, ranging from talented managers to professionals, can develop personal, management, and leadership skills through it. The methodology involves applying theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios, which fosters creative and successful strategies to tackle challenges. This corporate strategy is recognized for producing better insights and greatly enhancing decision-making processes. Dr. Yacine shared his thoughts on the impact of Action Learning on Algerian managers and corporations. He said, “The Action Learning methodology offers new learning strategies and practical tools that benefit learners immediately. Moreover, it incorporates different cultural dimensions, creating a unique learning experience.”

The Role of the African Export-Import Bank in Industrialisation

Ody, representing the African Export-Import Bank, shed light on the bank’s initiatives to support industrialisation, particularly focusing on SMEs. He outlined the bank’s commitment to industrialisation as a pillar in its strategic plan and highlighted a billion-dollar investment in special economic zones.

The bank’s approach includes financing, technical assistance, and technology acquisition to empower businesses in the agro-processing value chain. Ody pointed out the importance of industry in the agro-processing value chain and announced upcoming programmes, such as a venture capital fund for African youth entrepreneurs.

Responding to a question about SMEs, Ody acknowledged the bank’s historical support through financial intermediaries and unveiled new specialised programmes targeting SMEs. These programmes encompass capacity building, market access, and financing to ensure the growth and sustainability of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Towards a Brighter Future: Key Takeaways

As Africa charts its course towards accelerated industrialisation, collaboration between governments, private sectors, and financial institutions becomes paramount. The success stories of industrial parks, the commitment of financial institutions like the African Export-Import Bank, and the emphasis on youth empowerment provide a blueprint for a brighter future.

The journey towards industrialisation is multifaceted, requiring a comprehensive strategy that addresses challenges and leverages opportunities. The insights shared in this webinar offer valuable perspectives for policymakers, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders invested in Africa’s development.

In the words of Dr. Olumide Ajayi, “We hope it’s going to be a very beautiful dream come true sooner rather than later.” With concerted efforts and strategic interventions, Africa’s dream of accelerated industrialisation may indeed become a reality.

Join us every Tuesday morning at 08:15 AM CET for enlightening presentations and conversations around interesting, relevant topics in business. Goodmorning BSN! is a Zoominar presented by Business School Netherlands.

Click here to join us every Tuesday morning at 8:15 AM CET | Zoom Meeting ID 6410148920

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