Time for Africa to industrialise and stop exporting raw material

26 May 2015 16:30pm
WINDHOEK, 26 MAY (NAMPA) - Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Robert Mugabe has urged African countries to industrialise their economies and move away from the continued exportation of raw materials.
The Zimbabwean president said this in his speech delivered here during Africa Day celebrations on Monday, adding that Africa must leverage the abundant and diverse resources for its own benefits.
He said 50 years after Africa's founding fathers laid down a solid foundation for economic integration and development, the continent still has limited capital, industrial base and less-developed domestic markets.
“Ironically, while we are confronted with these challenges, Western economies are flourishing, riding on the back of African resources,” he said.
Mugabe said that in spite of the challenges facing Africa, the Union aspires for an Africa that is prosperous and is based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.
“As we celebrate Africa Day, let us acknowledge the challenges that face us,” he said, suggesting that Africa therefore has to devise collective strategies and measures to overcome conflict, insecurity, terrorism and mistrust between some Africans.
He said the continent needs to address those adversaries, tackling them now and with unity, as their effects transcend national boundaries.
The day was celebrated under the theme ‘Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa's Agenda 2063’.
Mugabe said the choice of the theme is deliberate and revealing, as the AU has taken a leap in gender equality, specifically on women empowerment and development. He said the important role of women is very often overlooked.
“While women have made tremendous achievements, they sadly remain unsung heroines quite often,” he said.
It is for that reason that African leaders chose that theme in order to acknowledge the central role of women in implementing Agenda 2063, as well as reinforcing gains already made and charting new frontiers for women.
Agenda 2063 is an approach to how the continent should effectively learn from the lessons of the past, build on the progress now underway and strategically exploit all possible opportunities available in the immediate and medium term, so as to ensure positive socio-economic transformation within the next 50 years.