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China to support Africa's industrialization drive: envoy

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-21 15:00

LAGOS - China would continually support Africa in its industrialization drive, said Zhou Pingjian, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria in Abuja, the country's capital on Monday.

Addressing the commemoration of the Africa Industrialization Day, celebrated on Nov 20 every year and was first observed in 1990, Zhou said industrialization was very important for Africa to grow.

The ambassador told his audience that there was need for policy adjustments to create a conducive environment for industrialization.

He said the Continental Free Trade Area was very important, but that without industrialization, the continent would only be selling primary goods such as raw materials, while the finished goods would still be imported.

He said it was important to produce for consumption within Africa and for export, to feed the teeming populace and also to get foreign exchange.

Earlier, Okechukwu Enelemah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, re-emphasized the need for Africa to be industrialized and to avoid being a dumping ground for goods from other industrialized countries.

Enelemah said there was a strong link between industrialization and trade, adding that there must be an increase in intra-African trade and industrialization.

She said Nigeria was aware that to overcome poverty and lead Africa to prosperity, African countries needed to focus on inclusive and productive sector-led growth.

She said to achieve this, the Nigerian government had embarked on various reform agenda to improve the business environment, while looking at how best to align and provide an urgent, coherent focus to innovation and competitiveness.

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