This panel was moderated by Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist, EIU at The Economist, and featured notable guests: -H.E. Mr. Ahmed Abtew, Minister of Industry, Ethiopia -Dr. Carlos Lopes, Professor of Economics, University of Cape Town; Visiting Fellow, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford, Former Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) -Kalilou Traore, Commissioner of Industry and Private Sector Promotion, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) H.E. Senator Joshua P. Setipa, Ministry of Trade & Industry, Lesotho The panel agreed that African states must integrate with each other to provide a solid base for industry and investment in the future, and that this would benefit smaller countries such as Lesotho, which may struggle to attract outside investment. “If we go in that direction, then not only it will favour the building of a much more solid manufacturing capacity in the continent, but it will attract others to come as well,” said Lopes. While there is a view that infrastructure and poor access to finance are preventing African manufacturing from growing, the continent exports $500 billion worth of manufactured goods, putting it on a par with India. While India is just one country, it has a population 54 times that of the whole of Africa, suggesting the engagement of the population in manufacturing is high. Investment from other countries is happening, with Chinese and Turkish manufacturers so far the largest investors in Ethiopia. Senator Setipa said efforts were being made to improve access to finance in Africa, which can be an issue for those embarking on major projects, while Abtew told delegates that problems with the Ethiopian infrastructure are also being addressed through an extensive road building programme over the last 25 years, providing better connections to ports and the international markets. The panel agreed that more should be done to bring more women into the workforce. For example, only 30% of Ethiopian women go to university, and they usually take on low-level jobs. However, Asfaw said external markets are already attracted to Ethiopia due to ve reasons: Stability, a workforce that is available 24 hours a day, a young labour force for labour-intensive industries (70% of the population is under 30), low production costs and cheap electricity. For Lopes, Africans themselves must also do more to address negative perceptions about the continent, which could be preventing investment. He told delegates that in the Strait of Malacca, there are five times more pirates than there is on the Somali coast, adding that Lagos has a purchasing power five times higher than that of Mumbai.