‘Nigeria, others should move from agrarian to industrial-based economies’
ACTING Chief Economist for African Development Bank, Prof Steve Kayizzi Mugerwa has said that Nigeria and other African countries should address the high rate of youth unemployment by moving from agrarian to industry-based economies to foster job creation and poverty alleviation.
According to him, manufacturing is the best answer to Africa’s youth employment.
Speaking at a workshop organized by the Nigeria Economic Society in Abuja, Mugerwa observed that governments have been crucial in transforming economies from agrarian to industrial economies, adding that smallholder agriculture is still the basis of the bulk of the African economy and that many African cities are still a mixture of the rural and the urban.
Mugerwa stated that paucity of manufacturing on a large scale is a serious challenge in Africa, adding that only few countries ever transformed without manufacturing.
He noted that the key goals of the development state in Africa should be to eliminate poverty, use resources for the betterment of the African population, establish mutually beneficial trade relations with other countries on the continent and abroad and ensure that African minds are given space to ponder on Africa’s future.
Mugerwa argued that for inclusive growth, governments should modernise agriculture and provide services for farmers to enable them get their produce to the market, as most agricultural produce waste due to lack of infrastructure that would help get them to the market.
He said: “Africa must ensure that its policies are inclusive and transformative.” Africa’s above six per cent growth has made many countries richer in Africa and created a number of billionaires in the process. But poverty has been reduced by much less compared to similar growth impacts in Asia and inequality is rising. Natural resources booms have been the main sources of growth, not value addition”.
He pointed out that developmental state offers its citizens peace and security and is able to formulate policies for the efficient production and targeting of public services, builds effective institutions , ensures a degree of policy self-determination, good governance and accountability and promotes technology and innovation.
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