Abu Dhabi, UAE – 16 November 2019 – The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), a joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), held its international roadshow, GMIS Connect, in the East Africa region to explore ways that Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies can be harnessed to accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development in the region. Held at the Headquarters of the East African Community (EAC) in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, on 14 and 15 November 2019, GMIS Connect East Africa is the first time the Summit holds a roadshow on a regional scale with participation from multiple countries.
The event was organised in partnership with the East African Community (EAC), the East African Business Council (EABC), the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The event was attended by representatives of East African industrial and manufacturing companies including SMEs and start-ups, business associations, and representatives of African Governments, academia, think tanks, training and education institutions, UN organisations and other civil society entities.
Manufacturing currently plays a limited role in East Africa’s economic transformation and the sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment, and productivity remain relatively low. Despite manufacturing’s proven track record of contributing to economic growth and employment globally, the sector’s share of overall GDP in East Africa ranges from 4 per cent in Ethiopia to about 12 per cent in Kenya, according to the African Development Bank Group East Africa Economic Outlook 2018.
During the two-day roadshow, delegates discussed ways to reverse this trend, including the need for East African countries to address legal and regulatory constraints as well as infrastructure and logistics weaknesses. The main topic of conversation focused on the potential of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies to dramatically transform the region’s manufacturing landscape, improve employment and enhance productivity in the sector. A series of high-level panel discussions explored the challenges and opportunities that will arise when adopting advanced technologies in East Africa, the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on value chains, and policies to attract investment and encourage technology transfer. Special workshops were held to discuss best practices to collaborate and boost innovation along value chains for specific industries including agro foods, leather and textiles, and pharmaceuticals, vaccines and cosmetics.
In attendance at the roadshow was Hon. Jean Marie Niyokindi, Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourism of Burundi, Hon. Eng Stella Martin Manyanya, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tanzania, Ambassador Libérat Mfumukeko, Secretary General at the East African Community (EAC); Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, Deputy Secretary General Productive and Social sector at the East African Community (EAC); Dr. Kirsten Focken, Cluster Coordinator for German Development Support to the East African Community (EAC) through GIZ; and Stephen Kargbo, UNIDO Representative at UNIDO Field Office in the United Republic of Tanzania.
Addressing delegates at the official opening session, Hon. Eng Stella Martin Manyanya, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tanzania said GMIS is now working with the East African region as a platform that presents the manufacturing sector with the chance to tap into evolving technology.
“I urge the member states participating in the programme to take advantage of this opportunity for the benefit of all our people.”
Hon. Manyanya called on all EAC partners to work together with the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit to create greater awareness regarding the opportunities and challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution growth of the regional industrial sector.
Discussions also centred on the possible implications for the region, stemming from the recent announcement of the Abu Dhabi Declaration, a ground-breaking outcome from the 18th Session of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) General Conference held from 3 to 7 November. Named after the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Abu Dhabi Declaration could prove a major boost to developing regions such as East Africa, as it calls for a global alliance of private sector organisations to work towards a shared vision for global prosperity that leaves no country behind.
Mohammad Shaban, Director of Strategy at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, said: “Industrial development is now firmly at the top of the policy agenda in East Africa, where governments are striving to reap the benefits that other countries have seen through developing their manufacturing capabilities. GMIS Connect East Africa demonstrated that there is a growing recognition in the region that Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies offer the tantalising prospect of accelerating this industrialisation process and closing the gap with other countries in record time. Securing investment and knowledge transfer will be critical to achieving this objective and these efforts will be enhanced by the Abu Dhabi Declaration, which calls for private sector companies to look beyond financial returns and adopt a more holistic worldview championing sustainability and global prosperity.”
Day two of the roadshow featured the GIZ-UNIDO EQUIP toolkit that illustrated how analysis of statistical data on advanced technology can be used to guide policies and programmes that promote technology uptake and deployment. The session was followed by a field trip to A-Z Textiles where attendees secured insights from the various stakeholders within the value chain.
Speaking at the roadshow, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, Deputy Secretary General Productive and Social sector at the East African Community (EAC) said the responsibility was on the EAC to effectively utilise the region’s potential for industrialisation to help drive economic growth and achieve important development goals.
“Countries like ours in the EAC region–that are further from the development frontier –have a unique opportunity to benefit from 4IR,” said Hon Bazivamo.
The topics discussed at GMIS East Africa will contribute to setting the agenda for the next edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit in 2020 which will take place from 20-21 April, alongside Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial technology tradeshow, in Germany.
As the world’s first cross-industry platform, the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit unites manufacturers, governments and NGOs, technologists, and investors in a mission to harness the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s transformation of manufacturing to enable the regeneration of the global economy. The third edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit aims to inspire discussion and agreement on a strategic pathway in order to contribute to promoting sustainable industrial development through innovation and the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies on a global scale.
Note to Editors
Images 1 – Mohammad Shaban, Director of Strategy at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit
Image 2 – Hon. Eng Stella Martin Manyanya, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tanzania
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The Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) was established in 2015 to build bridges between manufacturers, governments and NGOs, technologists, and investors in harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s (4IR) transformation of manufacturing to enable the regeneration of the global economy. A joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), GMIS is a global platform that presents stakeholders with an opportunity to shape the future of the manufacturing sector and contribute towards global good by advancing some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The first two editions of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit were held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates in March 2017, and Yekaterinburg, Russia in July 2019, respectively, with each edition welcoming over 3,000 high level delegates from over 40 countries.
GMIS 2020, the third edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, will be held alongside Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial trade fair from 20-21 April 2020 in Hannover, Germany, and will focus on glocalisation towards inclusive and sustainable global value chains.