Industrialization in Africa - Agriculture is the driving force behind industrialization in Africa, the president of the Institute for Research on Development Issues and Counseling (CESS), Gaston Gohou, said here Friday.
'The modernization of agriculture is one of the strengths of industrialization in Africa; It constitutes the driving force and Africa cannot become industrialized without modernizing this sector,' said Mr. Gohou in an interview with PANA on the sidelines of the third Congress of African Economists which ends Friday in Dakar, Senegal.
According to him, the modernization of agriculture will mean reducing the number of people working in the sector while increasing productivity and this will create a value chain through agricultural processing that brings added value.
Following modernization and the reduction of persons involved in agriculture from 80% to less than 10%, people laid off will be trained and used in other areas where they will be better paid, said Gohou, a former official of the World Bank.
He said that modernization would also give land owners much larger fields and lands for sale.
The Dakar Congress of African Economists, which began last Wednesday, was organized by the African Union Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). It brought together 150 African economists from the Diaspora and across the continent to identify, analyze and propose solutions to the economic problems facing African countries.
During the Congress, participants discussed, among other issues, problems hindering industrialization in Africa, technology transfer, agro-industry and industrialization, and the role of industry in the emergence of African economies.