The world supports Africa's move towards industrialisation

African countries have received advice on how to move towards industrialisation at the Africa Forum event that also saw the launch of a $50m fund and think tank for the region.

The World Bank has announced a $50m fund to support African countries being set up by China's finance ministry.

The fund was announced at the “Africa Forum: Partnering to Accelerate Investment, Industrialization, and Results” event which saw African countries receive advice on how to attract more investment to accelerate industrialisation, create jobs and sustain development.

Organised by the World Bank, the event had participation from the government of Ethiopia, the China Development Bank, the China Africa Development Fund and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

The China Africa Development Fund is an equity investment fund that is managed by the China Development Bank. Set up in 2007 to help China invest in Africa, it is currently on course to increasing its funding to $5bn this year.

Also announced at the event was the launch of the Investing in Africa Think Tank Alliance that will support the continent's move toward industrialisation. This is being created by the World Bank, China's finance ministry and the China Development Bank.

The forum touched on subjects such as the practical steps needed to accelerate industrialisation, how to make special economic zones work in Africa, speeding up improvements in trade logistics and infrastructure, and how to attract development-oriented investment.

The forum was opened by Hailemariam Desalegn, prime minister of Ethiopia, who spoke about the progress Ethiopia is making towards becoming a manufacturing hub within Africa.

The event looked to China as an exemplar in many cases, highlighting that before the country started to become industrial, conditions were very similar to those in Africa today. China championed, among other priorities, education and training, work on infrastructure and agriculture, and light manufacturing as a pathway for industrialisation.

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