African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said that those who called South Korea’s ‘workforce, inefficient, unskilled and lacking the natural resolve to develop’ would be put to shame today.
The country which was at par with some poor African economies in 1960 has grown to have a GDP per capita of $26,000 and the 11th largest global economy.
AfDB is holding its annual meeting in Buscan, South Korea pushing for the industrialization of Africa by drawing lessons from the Asian tiger.
The Pan-African lender with over 80 member shareholders says it has pledged to put in $3.5 billion over the next ten years to spur industrialization in the continent and leverage over $56 billion.
This is expected to spur the industrial GDP of the continent from the current $700 billion to $1.72 trillion over the next decade.
Mr. Adesina says that while China is expected to move from labor-intensive sectors, it will export over 100 million jobs and that Africa should be prepared to take up the bulk of this jobs by ensuring they have the skill, infrastructure, and the industry to absorb the economic shift.
He asked African countries to direct funding to research and development, set up infrastructure, fund sectors where it has a competitive advantage in and helps relax regulation to boost certain sectors.
Mr. Adesina added that agriculture is the fastest way to industrialize with the most profound support at Africa’s grassroots.
AfDB and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) today signed a Memorandum of understanding to help mobilize domestic funding, engage emerging technology and the digital revolution.