Johannesburg - Africa must develop industrial policies for its growth, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has said.
These policies had to underpin the diversification of production structures, raise competitiveness levels, and expand Africa's export basket, he said at the second Nigeria International Investment Forum in Lagos on Thursday, according to a copy of his speech sent to Sapa on Friday.
"It is only through these targeted policy interventions and the commensurate public and private investments that Africa can begin to raise manufacturing output and increase its share of global trade and production," he said.
A strong manufacturing sector boosted a country's intellectual capital and innovation, driving growth in demand for skilled workers and scientists.
"Africa's growth has mainly been underpinned by [the] commodities' boom and the rise of service industries on the back of products not produced in Africa."
The next phase of Africa's growth had to be rooted in manufacturing and adding value to the products Africa was endowed with.
Davies emphasised the need for integration on the Africa continent.
The trade and industry department said Davies met with his counterpart Olusegun Aganga to take stock of progress made since the signing of a memorandum of understanding on economic co-operation between South Africa and Nigeria in May.
The two ministers agreed on a bilateral work programme focusing on industrial co-operation, SMME development and financing, trade facilitation, standards co-operation, and infrastructure development.
The work programme was meant to help increase trade in value-added products between the two countries, as well as bilateral investment.
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