By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says it is organising a twin set of policy debates to begin mapping out pathways for structural transformation in Central Africa, notably in Gabon (8 December 2016 at Radisson Blu Hotel in Libreville) and in the Republic of Congo (15 December 2016 at Radisson Blu Hotel in Brazzaville).
The Libreville Debate on wood transformation in Gabon
Hinged on on-going macroeconomic policy work by the Commission, the objective of Libreville debate is to debate on priority actions to be made to valorise tropical timber to leverage structural transformation in Gabon. Specifically, it will identify suitable measures to support the production and export of high value-added wood products, by strengthening the wood processing industry, but also by improving the country’s presence on export markets for wood products. The idea is in line with ECA’s current advocacy for transformative industrial policy for and the greening of Africa’s industrialisation process.
The meeting is therefore expected to reach consensus on additional measures to be implemented at national level, not only to better take into account the extensive transformation of wood in industrial policy, but also to better integrate environmental development policies into wood-industry practices in Gabon.
The Brazzaville Debate on improving transport infrastructure to leverage structural transformation in Congo
On the other hand, the Brazzaville event has been inspired by ECA’s recent Country Profile for the Republic of Congo which indicates that understanding the stakes of structural transformation entails gauging the challenges facing the Congo, including that of developing and maintaining transport infrastructure hinged not only on the current state of the economy, but also with the forward-looking view of the country’s economic restructuring. The exchange part of the dissemination and deepening of the ideas contained in the Country Profile of the Congo on “The development of transport infrastructures to meet the challenge of the structural transformation of the Congo”, published by ECA in March 2016.
The main objective of the meeting is to examine the progress so far made in transport infrastructure in the Congo and to discuss what contribution it holds for the structural transformation of the country.
The meeting is expected to reach consensus on the priority measures to be implemented to such an extent that transport infrastructure services enable the Congolese economy to make the most of its potential and contribute to the development of a dynamic non-oil sector that would lead to the sustainable growth and structural transformation of the country.
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