African leaders asked to build an industrial policy framework

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INDUSTRIALIZATION
industrialisation

Mr Valter Sanches, the General Secretary of IndustriALL, a Global Union Campaigner against Precarious Work, has called on Africa governments to institute sustainable industrial policies centred on manufacturing development.

He said the policies would help in improving the competitiveness and capabilities of domestic firms and as well as promote structural transformation.

Mr Sanches said structural transformation was necessary for sustained and high growth and significant poverty reduction because manufacturing development cannot take place without deliberate government intervention.

He made the call on Monday in Accra when he visited Ghana to share his perspectives and experiences and chart the way forward on trade unionization.

Mr Sanches said the Union represented more than 50 million working people in more than 140 countries, working across the supply chains in mining, energy and manufacturing sectors at the global level.

He said the organisation’s goals were to defend workers’ right, build union power, confront global capital, fight precarious work and promote sustainable industrial policy.

Mr Sanches noted that a sustainable industrial policy must be strategic in design and tailored to specific country’s circumstances and also focus on effective state-business relations, incorporating a monitoring and evaluation mechanism that identify lessons learnt from current policy to feed into the next policy-making stage.

He said that Africa still accounted for a very low share of global Manufacturing Value-Added (MVA) of 1.1 per cent and global manufacturing exports of 1.3 percent in 2008, adding that Africa’s share of global low-technology manufacturing exports, fell from 1.5 percent in 2000 to 1.3 percent in 2008, as opposed to East Asia and the Pacific where it rose from 17 percent to 26 percent over the same period.

Mr Sanches said empirical analysis also reveals that African countries were very dependent on resource-based manufacturing, stating that in 2009, resource-based manufacturing accounted for about 49 per cent of both total MVA and manufacturing exports in the region.

He expressed concern about dismissal of 2,000 workers of Goldfields which he described as unacceptable and violation of the fundamental rights of the workers, calling for amicable settlement to reinstate the workers.

He called on African government to treat workers with respect, with fair salary and better working conditions to improve productivity.

Mr Solomon Kotei, the General Secretary of Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union, said the country needed a unified voice at the continental and national level to dialogue and come out with strategic policy for workers to ensure they were not short-changed.

He said the country’s workers’ unions needed to be abreast with development in the sector and adjust to it since the industrial world was moving at a higher pace.

Prince William Ankrah, the General Secretary of the Ghana Mineworkers Union, said it was imperative for the country to make a strong voice within the African Union to address any pitfalls

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