Is Kenya Ready for the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa?

“The Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (2016-2025): From political commitments to actions on the ground”

One of the biggest challenges that many African countries are facing today is that the benefits of economic growth are not shared by all members of society. Even in economies that record impressive rates of growth compared to the rest of the world, poverty, hunger and unemployment persist. Youth, women, rural populations, and the urban poor are particularly affected. This situation can largely be explained by a lack of industrial transformation of African economies.

25 July 2016, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Resolution A/RES/70/293, which proclaimed the period 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III). The proclamation builds on the understanding that inclusive and sustainable industrialization is essential to generate jobs, wealth and income for all, to eradicate absolute poverty, and thereby to achieve sustainable development. The proclamation also demonstrates the readiness of the international community to continue and enhance its partnership with African countries to support the continent’s industrial transformation.

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Kenya needs to industrialize more – and at a faster pace. As part of Africa’s transformation from informal to formal businesses, we must strengthen women and youth’s  entrepreneurial and technical skills, access to technologies, business support services, advocacy, and self-help networks. Africa is by no means destined to lag behind the rest of the world economy. The Decade offers us a pathway. But it cannot be seen as a standalone initiative. Efforts must be woven into the frameworks already in place.

No single country or institution is fully equipped to tackle the challenges of African industrial development on its own. The implementation of the third Industrial Development Decade for Africa requires concerted efforts from a wide range of stakeholders. Kenya needs to design and implement comprehensive industrial policies, promote industrial entrepreneurship, advance innovation and technology, enhance energy efficiency, and promote climate change resilience.

 

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