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Published On: Mon, Nov 20th, 2017

Labour holds rally for industrialization of Africa today

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From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

The IndustriALL Global Union Africa in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, manufacturers, will today will march for beneficiation and industrialization of African economies.
The Vice President of the Union, Comrade Issa Aremu disclosed this in a press statement made available to the media in kaduna yesterday.
According to him, the organized labour from different part of the country will gathered at Eagle Square where they will proceed to Yar’ Adua Centre.
The statement added that the rally is to mark the 2017 Africa industrialization Day (AID)
According to Aremu, Africa industrialization Day (AID) is a significant day declared by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)an annual platform for Governments, businesses and organized labour linked to industrial development to examine ways and means to stimulate Africa industrialization process.
His word; “Industrialization and industrial policies as well as national development are too important to be left to governments and businesses alone.
“Indeed promoting sustainable industrial policy is one of the critical success goals of our global union.
“In Africa, promoting sustainable industrial policy assumes a special importance. Industry is a key driver of sustainable jobs and development for national economies and the foundation of good living standards.
“It does not matter whether it is first industrial revolution, (Industry 1.0), Second Industrial Revolution (2.0) Third Industrial Revolution (Industry 3.0) or the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0)
“We as Africans must make what we wear (gold, rings and necklaces, clothes and textile), what we ride, (automobiles), what fuel our cars (petroleum products) what we build with (iron and steel), soaps we bath with (chemicals and allied products) and generate energy we consume.
“We must stop exporting raw cottons, crude oil, mineral resources, gold and diamond only to be importing finished goods from China, Europe and America. It does not matter whether it is small or medium scale enterprises, Africa must consume products it produce not imported or smuggled as it is the case in Nigeria.
“UNIDO over the years had shown that manufacturing industry in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) lags behind other developing regions in almost all measures of economic development, namely income per head, industrialization and agricultural productivity.
“The distribution of manufacturing activity in SSA, measured by the dollar value of manufacturing value added (MVA), is highly skewed.
“In 2015 Africa has as many as 1.2 billion population. Millions of
youths join the labour market annually. Only industry can provide sustainable jobs and living wages and necessary revenues for government to provide the needed infrastructure for development.
“For Africa to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 2030, especially SDG 9 dealing with industry and innovation our continent must innovate and industrialize.
“Africa should stop being romantic and clapping for China through uncritical importation of goods and services.
“Rather Africa must copy China’s industrialization drive which has within 20 years moved over 250 million people out of poverty through manufacturing and industrialization.
“Africa must make what it consumes, otherwise it will be consumed by the rest of the world.
“Many African countries have robust documents and policies on industrialization and diversification, yet few existing industries are closing with mass job losses.
“It’s time South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana! Zimbabwe, Sudan walked/worked the policies and add value to the continent abundant raw materials.
“Today we acknowledge and commend the Federal Government of Nigeria for launching the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. Together with the existing National Industrial Revolution Plan, it can promote revival of industries and creation of mass decent jobs.”

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