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African industrialisation has received a $200 Million boost through the African Development Bank (AfDB), which has approved a private sector multi-currency line of credit of $ 100 million and R1.3 billion to the Industrial Development Corporation. The IDC will be using the funds for industrialisation projects in South Africa as well as other Regional Member Countries (RMCs).

African Development Bank and IDC to fund new projects50% of the funding will be used for projects in South Africa and the balance will be directed to regional projects in Mozambique, Malawi, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Mauritius, Swaziland and Sudan. The AfDB has partnered with the African Union Commission, the governments of the RMCs, key United Nations agencies and development finance institutions for the projects.

The projects will be based in specific sectors, including priority industrial value chains such as chemical and pharmaceuticals, metals and mining, agro-processing and agriculture; industrial infrastructure, including energy, logistics, water, and telecommunications; and new industries that derive from innovation, science and technology. The money has also been earmarked for opportunities in high impact labour intensive sectors and assistance for businesses in distress.

The commitments were made at the “Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (2016-2025): From political commitment to actions on the ground” event, held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution proclaiming 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III). By the terms of the resolution, the General Assembly called on the African Union Commission, NEPAD, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) “to develop, operationalise and lead the implementation of the programme for the Third Decade, in accordance with its mandate and through voluntary contributions”.

As a result, the AfDB, UNIDO and the ECA developed an ambitious “Industrialise Africa” strategy that aims at more than doubling the continent’s industrial GDP. The latest credit issued to the IDC is intended to support this strategy.

“These new lines of credit offer a great opportunity to improve industrialisation, leading ultimately to poverty reduction. Africa needs to industrialise more, and at a faster rate. Industrialisation is critical to Africa’s realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” says Miroslav Lajcák, President of the UN General Assembly.

Image credit: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57498

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