Outcomes of the Ninth (9TH) Joint Annual Meetings of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration and the Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to shape the relationship between Urbanization and Industrialization.
Both Agenda2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals reflect African interests therefore one of the expected outcomes of the AU- ECA Ministerial Conference for this year is to shape the process of building a strong link between Urbanization and Industrialization in Africa.
It is also expected that the results of the conference will bring African countries together towards the fleshing out of policies on poverty eradication, structural transformation and sustainable development for both Agendas.
Prof. Tekyiwaa Manuh the Director of Social Development Policy Division UNECA, underscored the fact that urbanization is the engine of structural transformation in Africa adding that however, rapid urbanization in Africa is not complimented by industrial output and has not led to transformation of the continent as should be. Also, it is common to see urban cities in Africa characterized by lack of productive jobs and slums, marked by a population of increasing youth. This has led to a huge gap in infrastructure and development in our urban centres. She made reference to this at a side event on “Urbanization and Industrialization in Africa: The Missing Links”.
Dr. Yaw Ansu Chief Economist for African Centre for Economic Transformation has indicated that the anchors below must be set right to settle on the right solutions :
- National act planning and urbanization
- Industrial Policies and Urbanization
- Urban Policies and industrialisation
- Regional Integration and urbanization
There is the need for a critical look at the political dimension, industry support and learning from others to realize the link between urbanization and industrialization in Africa. It also requires work in Agriculture, industry and municipal action for example development of industrial parks as an industrial policy (eco-industrial parks)
The fact remains that the bulk of the money that will be used to establish the link between urbanization and industrialization of the continent is from taxes because tax is very key to the growth and development of any country, it is the most sustainable source of domestic financing and a major means of transforming nations so that the work tax does in transforming the economies of any country cannot be underestimated.
We therefore need to focus on tax policies and treaties to lead to a working link between industrial growth and urbanization as well as make political pacts to make sure our economies develop.