World Summit on Industry and Manufacturing Highlights Africa’s Untapped Potential

  • The promotional tour highlighted the potential impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digital transformation on value chains in southern Africa.
  • The promotional tour of the summit in Southern Africa was organized in partnership with UNIDO and the SADC.
  • The countries of the South African region have managed to achieve many achievements aimed at enhancing regional integration and cooperation.

The World Summit for Industry and Manufacturing organized a joint initiative between the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with a new promotional tour in the city of Pretoria. The aim of the initiative is to examine the untapped industrial potential of countries in Southern Africa and its potential impacts on global value chains, and its role in shaping the future of the industrial sector.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is a specialized agency in the United Nations system, headquartered in Vienna, Austria. The mission of UNIDO, as described in the Lima Declaration adopted at the fifteenth session of the UNIDO General Conference in 2013, is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Member States.

The promotional tour highlighted the potential impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digital transformation on value chains in southern Africa. They discussed the role played by knowledge dissemination and application of best practices in developing the industrial sector and advancing inclusive and sustainable industrial development. The summit organizes promotional tours in the most prominent cities and emerging markets in the industrial sector around the world as part of a special program for international promotional tours organized in cooperation with local and regional partners in order to identify trends, opportunities and potential challenges related to adopting the new technologies.

The promotional tour of the summit in Southern Africa was organized in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Southern Africa Development Group (SADC), with the support of the German Foundation for International Cooperation. The two-day event was attended by representatives of industrial companies in South Africa, including small and medium-sized companies, start-ups, businessmen associations, representatives of African governments, academia, United Nations organizations and other civil society bodies, who participated in a series of sessions.

According to the Report of the African Development Bank Group on the Economic Outlook for South Africa in 2019, the countries of the South African region have managed to achieve many achievements aimed at enhancing regional integration and cooperation. The report pointed out that the strengthening of regional value chains contributes significantly to developing an integrated industrial base that enhances the added value and competitiveness of exports.

The relatively low participation of South African countries in the value chains reveals a lack of utilization of the capabilities enjoyed by the resultant decrease in the volume of private sector investments and thus slowing growth in the industrial sector. A recent study that specializes in auditing policies related to the industrial sector in the South African region identified a group of fields that enjoy tremendous investment opportunities and include the cultivation of fruits and cotton and the extraction of coal, gold, diamonds, copper, oil, iron, platinum, natural gas, and marine products.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 16 southern African countries.

The promotional tour in South Africa discussed some of the most prominent challenges related to the impact of the techniques of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on priority value chain groups that hinder the participation of countries in the region in production and trade. The promotional round held a series of high-level panel discussions that touched on the role of modern technologies in helping local and regional companies integrate into global value chains.

The promotional tour witnessed the attendance and participation of His Excellency Vincent Meriton, Vice President of the Republic of Seychelles, Her Excellency Someldoth Bula, Minister of Industrial Development, Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Societies in the Republic of Mauritius, Her Excellency Sekai Nenzaza, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and His Excellency Hallibooni Cites Abe, Minister of Trade Industry in the Republic of Lesotho, Revo Rakotondrasangi, President of the African Alliance for Industrialization in Madagascar, and Fabian Kerelis, Development Cooperation Adviser to the German Embassy in Botswana, and Nebvedhoho Ravolo, Director of the National Center for Friendly Industry In South Africa, Helen Haye, and Goodwill Ambassador for UNIDO in Africa, CEO of Made in Africa.

Through these activities, which are held in partnership with the World Summit for Industry and Manufacturing and other stakeholders, UNIDO is proud to be able to provide tools that will assist countries and industrial sectors to employ advanced technologies, create a platform for data-based policy development and implement comprehensive and sustainable industrial development strategies. Discussions also focused on the need to involve the private sector in building value chains, in the implementation of the Abu Dhabi Declaration, which was adopted by member states of UNIDO during the eighteenth general conference of the UNIDO, which was held in November 2019 in Abu Dhabi.

The Abu Dhabi Declaration can be a strong boost for developing regions such as southern Africa, as it calls for a global coalition for the private sector that works according to a common vision to achieve comprehensive and sustainable industrial development and contribute to spreading global prosperity.

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George Mtimba

George clarifies how the news is changing the world, how world news trends affect you. Also, George is a professional journalist, a freelance news reporter and writer who is passionate with current world news.

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