Using agriculture and agribusiness to bring about industrialisation in Africa


A Kenyan maize seller sifts out maize from a bucket to get rid of sand and other impurities. KAREL PRINSLOO/AP/SIPA.

By: Dr. Akinwumi Adesina

No region of the world has ever moved to industrialised economy status without a transformation of the agricultural sector. Agriculture, which contributes 16.2% of the GDP of Africa, and gives some form of employment to over 60% of the population, holds the key to accelerated growth, diversification and job creation for African economies.

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Industry: Nigeria's Dangote Cement to start production in Tanzania

File photo©ReutersNigeria's Dangote Cement said it will begin production in Tanzania in August, as sub-Saharan Africa's leading cement producer eyes new markets on the continent.

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Finance: European Bank, EBRD to lend Tunisia 200 mln euros for energy and industry projects

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will lend Tunisia 200 million euros this year to finance energy and industry projects, state news agency TAP said on Wednesday.

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Investment: Made in Ethiopia

Almeda Textiles benefits from low overhead costs, but is limited by challenging logistics. Photo©USAID AE TRADE HUBLow costs attract investors, but there are many obstacles to the country's industrialisation.

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Ethiopia plans to expand energy and industry with Eurobond funds

Ethiopia plans to expand industry, sugar factories and power production using proceeds from its oversubscribed debut Eurobond that raised $1 billion, the finance minister said on Tuesday.

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The elusive prize of value addition

There is no truism more universally acknowledged in the discussion about Africa's economic redemption than that of the need for countries to add value to their natural resources. And this truism is not of recent vintage.

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Ethiopia says expanding zones to become industrial hub

Ethiopia plans to build an industrial base, with textiles and garments seen as a key sector. Photo©ScreenShotReutersEthiopia will start setting up a new industrial park in September and will expand another at a total cost of $250 million, an official said, part of efforts to shift away from farming and become a hub for textiles and other industries.

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Zimbabwe braces for winter power cuts

Photo©ReutersZimbabweans have been told to brace for more electricity blackouts this winter with the power utility warning that supplies would be depressed for two months.

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Ethiopia's Farms and finance

Ethiopia has yet to produce private sector champions. Photo©Ami Vitale/PANOS-REAThe government has a mission to use a strong state to build infrastructure and develop the industrial and agricultural sectors. It argues that it could repeat the rapid growth of East Asia in the 1990s, but critics warn about intimidation of the opposition and the risks of crony capitalism.

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Ghana: Legislators urged to check excessive domestic borrowing

Ghana's domestic debt grew by 30 per cent between 2011 and 2012 constituting 53 per cent of the total public debt. Photo©ReutersGhanaian industry is mounting pressure on the country's legislature to pass laws to restrict government's excessive domestic borrowing, which they argue is crowding-out the private sector from accessing capital.

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14th CODESRIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Creating African Futures in an Era of Global Transformations: Challenges and Prospects

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa will hold its 14th General Assembly from 15th to 19th December 2014 in Dakar, Senegal under the theme 'Creating African Futures in an Era of Global Transformations: Challenges and Prospects.

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Ghana: We are listening to business - John Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama. Photo©Steve Ababio for TARThe list of the government's priorities for reform is long, from improving the business environment to cutting deficits and expanding the provision of free secondary education

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Ghana seeks home-grown solutions

For two decades, imports of foodstuffs that Ghana produces locally have risen inexorably. Photo©Ulrich Doering/Alamy/Photo 12Business leaders insist that the government must use the current economic woes as an opportunity to revive local industries. Companies want new policies to benefit manufacturers, but public resources are limited, especially given the twin budget and current account deficits.

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Zambia plans sovereign wealth fund to diversify from mining

Zambia's President Michael SataZambia, Africa's leading copper producer, plans to establish a sovereign wealth fund to stimulate investment in strategic non-mining industries, a treasury official said on Thursday.

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Côte d'Ivoire: We must improve things for SMEs - Jean-Louis Billon

Jean-Louis Billion, Côte d'Ivoire's Minister of Commerce/Photo©Camille Millerand for jAAcknowledging that corruption and poverty are still high, Jean-Louis Billon, Côte d'Ivoire minister of commerce, sees small businesses and processing as the country's future.

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Palm oil punch-up in Liberia

Photo©ROB MCNEIL/CIThe fight between David and Goliath rolls on in Liberia as industrial agribusiness steamrolls over local communities.

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Why South Africa has more cars but fewer jobs

Car ownership has yet to catch up with the increase in middle-class purchasing power/MUSTAFA OZER/AFPWhile local manufacturers report double-digit sales growth, component suppliers are shedding workers and unions are asking if government subsidies are being used effectively.

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Zimbabwe: Bulawayo's factories shut up shop

Dunlop is one of the few companies still manu- facturing in Buluwayo, where 87 factories have closed/Photo/TSVANGIRAYI MUKWAZHICheap Chinese imports and a liquidity crunch have decimated Bulawayo's once-thriving manufacturing sector.
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Boost for Moroccan tech start-ups

Map of MoroccoThe Maroc Numeric Fund has solid backing and a healthy attitude to risk – good news for bright ideas.

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Ethiopia: $2.4 bn from foreign trade in 10 months

Map of EthiopiaThe foreign exchange was secured from agricultural and industrial products exports to around 127 countries across the world, the Ministry of Trade said.

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