We must ponder on how industrial policy benefits from the African Continental Free Trade Area- Osinbajo

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This roundtable fittingly hosted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this iconic trade and business institution, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria stated during his Speech by his at The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) roundtable on Industrialisation in Africa Themed: Positioning African Industries For Economic Transformation And Continental Free Trade


Over the years, Prof said MAN has been faithful to its mission of working with other organs of the Organized Private Sector, government, and other stakeholders in the economy, to create an enabling environment for industrial development, growth, and prosperity. Its strong focus on advocacy has also been an important sounding board for shaping government’s industrial and commercial policies, he added.


He said I must also extend the warm felicitations of Mr. President, President Muhammadu Buhari to the President and National Council of MAN as you celebrate the Golden Jubilee of your organization.


Osinbajo noted that the theme for today’s roundtable is an important one. According to him we must all, governments and private sector alike, pay close attention to ‘Positioning African Industries for Economic Transformation and Continental Free Trade.


The VP pointed out that the evidence, historical and contemporary from across the world is that manufacturing is critical to economic transformation. It has been key in adding value to agricultural products and minerals and has also been a major motor of economic growth because it boosts productivity.


“Equally compelling from the perspective of Nigeria which has a large population is that manufacturing has the potential to create a large number of sustainable jobs. Given the large number of entrants into the workforce every year and the important role of employment in reducing poverty, there is no doubt at all that industrialization must remain a key priority for African countries.

“The urgency of the situation becomes more obvious when we also take a rapidly changing global context into account. The COVID-19 virus continues to cause havoc and complicates our efforts to adapt to climate change and leapfrog into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


Prof said as our topic today also shows, we must ponder on how industrial policy benefits from the African Continental Free Trade Area.  For certain, the free trade agreement itself is indispensable if industrial development is to take off in Africa because it offers wider markets and economies of scale which are essential for manufacturing to be competitive, he stressed.


“We must build a network of roads, bridges, and rail that will facilitate the movement of goods and people just as we build the electricity plants to power our factories and the broadband networks that lubricate modern business.  It would also be essential in the interim to develop sites with dedicated infrastructural and regulatory structures like Special Economic Zones and Shared Facilities for small businesses.”


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