Accelerating Africa’s Economic Growth Through Implementation and Domestication of the African Union Commodity Strategy, a Flagship Project of Agenda 2063 The African Union Commission (Department of Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals) organized an inaugural meeting on the implementation and domestication of the African Union Commodity Strategy and its Action Plan under the theme “Commodity-led Industrialization For One African Market”, in Addis Ababa at the AU Headquarters. The three-day meeting aims to coordinate the implementation of the African Union Commodities Strategy to accelerate its realization, track progress in the Strategy’s monitoring and evaluation initiatives including resources mobilization and partnerships; communicate the strategy to external stakeholders and advise the African Union’s structures on progress achieved.
In her opening remarks, Honorable Behdja Lammali, the Chairperson of the Committee on Transport, Industry, Communications, Energy, Science and Technology at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), emphasized the importance of collaboration for accelerating economic development in Africa. Hon. Behdja added that Africans must rise to the challenges of promoting commodities value chains.
In his welcoming remarks, His Excellency Habtamu Tegegn, the Minister of Mines of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia outlined that Africa needs Green Energy Transitions that require responsible exploitation of basic commodities, especially, mineral resources. He stressed that without raw minerals there would be no batteries, no electric cars, no wind tribunes, and no solar panels. Africa is endowed with manganese, platinum, rare earth elements, uranium, lithium, cobalt, and nickel, he added.
He expressed the urgent need to harness this potential, for the African continent to be prosperous and to stand a chance of being an influential global player, not only by supplying the world with raw materials and unprocessed goods but with a transformed economy through beneficiation from Africa’s natural resources and manufacturing. He added that the continent needs to form an African Commodity-based alliance that can effectively build a resilient supply chain network at every value-added stage by leveraging the competitive strengths and expertise of each country or region.
His Excellency Ambassador Albert Muchanga, the Commissioner for the Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, in his opening remarks, indicated that if Africa promotes human development and utilization, the continent will generate capacities to add value to the natural resources endowments and consequently increase the absolute value of Africa’s aggregate Gross Domestic Product.
Amb. Muchanga highlighted the critical role the Department is playing in developing programs that can enhance support to the implementation for the African Union Commodity strategy, during the second ten-year implementation plan of the African Union Agenda 2063. He announced that the programs include manufacturing; agro-processing; industrial skills development; industrial Research and Development; and development of soft quality infrastructure, with the ultimate objective of coming up with the Made in Africa standard; intellectual property rights protection; deepening continental economic integration; export development and diversification; and, among others, positioning Africa to achieve high levels of inclusive growth and sustainable development.
The coordination meeting will strategically discuss how to strengthen partnerships, encourage synergies, linkages, and complementarities; and agree on a joint implementation work plan that clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the AU Institutions, RECs, Member States, the private sector, and development partners in the domestication and implementation of the AU Commodity Strategy. The participants are drawn from African policymakers and experts from the Member States, AUC, RECs, relevant AU organs, and specialized agencies. Other international and regional stakeholders include UN Agencies, and representatives of the business sector, academia, media, women, and youth in commodities trading.