In a pivotal address at the 2nd Executive Committee Meeting and Relaunch of the Pan-African Manufacturers Association (PAMA), Engr Mansur Ahmed, the Interim President of PAMA, emphasized the imperative role of the association in driving the growth and transformation of the African manufacturing sector. The event took place on the sidelines of the Intra-African Trade Fair held in Egypt on November 14th, 2023.
Engr Mansur Ahmed commenced his address by highlighting the significance of Agenda 2063, the African Union’s ambitious development plan spanning five decades, and the flagship initiative, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA). He underscored the progress made since the inception of AFCFTA in January 2021, as well as the challenges faced in advancing Agenda 2063.
Despite strides made, intra-African trade remains below 18%, and Africa’s global trade contribution stands at a mere 4%. Engr Mansur Ahmed emphasized that the transformation of the manufacturing sector is crucial for achieving the goals outlined in Agenda 2063. Manufacturing, accounting for 70% of global trade and over 30% of service jobs globally, holds the key to addressing underdevelopment, low productivity, and minimal value addition in many African economies.
Engr Mansur Ahmed highlighted the formation of the Pan-African Manufacturers Association (PAMA) in 2018, acknowledging the support of H.E Commissioner Albert Muchanga in its conception. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing efforts aim to engage manufacturers associations, industries, and major companies across the continent.
Enumerating the pivotal role PAMA aims to play, Engr Mansur Ahmed outlined ten key initiatives:
- Unite Private Entrepreneurs: Foster interaction and collaboration among private entrepreneurs to strengthen the African manufacturing sector and increase cross-border value chain development.
- Research and Knowledge Sharing: Conduct comprehensive studies on various aspects of manufacturing across Africa, sharing results to facilitate sector-wide improvements.
- Advocacy for Policy Improvements: Lead advocacy efforts at regional and continental levels to secure improved policies and regulatory environments.
- Staying Informed: Actively monitor global manufacturing trends to enhance the capabilities of African manufacturers.
- Promoting Investment: Serve as a one-stop shop for investors interested in the African manufacturing sector, facilitating new investments and partnerships.
- Engaging the Business Council: Participate in public/private engagement and dialogue processes to represent the manufacturing industry’s perspective.
- Collaboration with Development Partners: Actively seek collaboration with development partners to address specific sector challenges.
- Academic Collaboration: Engage with universities and research institutions to support research, training, and the development of a skilled workforce.
- Promoting Sector Growth: Organize regional seminars, conferences, and events to connect stakeholders, share insights, and explore opportunities for collaboration.
- Technology Transfer and Innovation Hubs: Establish technology transfer and innovation hubs across the African continent to promote the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies.
Engr Mansur Ahmed concluded by expressing gratitude for the attendees’ attention and welcomed them to the 2nd Executive Committee Meeting and Relaunch of the Pan-African Manufacturers Association, emphasizing the pivotal role PAMA will play in realizing the vision of a vibrant and globally competitive African manufacturing industry.