Experts in the field of development and applied economics have said that industrialisation was the best indices for sustainable economic growth.
According to them , full industrialisation and massive job creation was a necessary indices for sustainable economic growth in Africa.
These were part of the submissions at the 2018 International Conference hosted by the African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage), Enugu, at the weekend.
The conference tagged: “Economics of Sustainable Growth in Africa,”which took place in Enugu, south-east, Nigeria, attracted scholars from Nigeria and beyond.
In his keynote presentation, a former national economic adviser in the government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and now director, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Professor Osita Ogbu, identified productivity as the basis for sustainable economic growth, According to him, the economy should be designed in a way that wealth is adequately distributed and not concentrated.
He believes that one sure way of doing so is by ensuring massive development of the industrial sector and technological acquisition. “Africa must introduce industrial parks. Banks should concentrate resources on few important sectors with bias towards the productivity sector. Africa needs intelligent leadership that understands sustainable growth,” he said.
He cited the China example where he said China has left a certain space at the low end manufacturing which Africans can adopt and occupy.
“Since we have few venture capitalists, government should step into this space and invest in profitable ventures,” he said.
In his contribution, another keynote speaker at the event, Rev Fr. (Prof) Hyacinth Icheoku, of the department of economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, posited that redistribution and inclusive economic growth can catalyse sustainable economic growth in Nigeria. According to him, a means to achieving inclusive economic growth is by providing good and productive employment and decent work for everyone.
He however, advised African countries to focus on labour intensive industrial growth in order to create jobs and opportunities to carry everyone along.
Earlier in his opening speech, the executive director of AfriHeritage, Professor Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, noted that African economists needed to come up with ideas that would uplift economies across the continent, and help to effect transformative change that can move the region away from extreme poverty. According to him, despite significant improvements in policy spaces across the region, Africa continues to experience serious challenges due to highly uneven economic growth patterns.
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