Time for Africa to industrialise and stop exporting raw material

WINDHOEK: 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.

In his speech read on his behalf by the Dean of Diplomatic Corps Manuel Alexandre Rodrigues during the Africa Day celebration here on Monday Mugabe said Africa must leverage the abundant and diverse resources for its own benefits.

He said after 50 years after Africa’s founding fathers laid down a solid foundation for economic integration and development, Africa still has limited capital and 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 in spite of the challenges facing Africa, the Union aspire 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, adding that Africa therefore have to devise collective strategies and measures to overcome conflict, insecurity, terrorism, mistrust between and among some of the Africans amongst others.

He said, the continent need to tackle those adverserties and tackle them now and together, 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 leap in gender equality, specifically on women empowerment and development.

“While women have made tremendous achievements, they sadly remain using heroes quite often,” he said.

He stated that is is for that reason that African leaders chose that theme I order to acknowledge the central role of women in implementing Agenda 2063, as well as reinforce gains already made and chart 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 under way 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.