African Industrialization Day

11th December, 2017


Tanzania commemorated the Africa Industrialization Day (AID) on 11th December, 2017, after shifting it from 20th November since last year, when it is commemorated worldwide. The shift was made to demonstrate its close relationship with the Tanzania Industrial Exhibitions both of which have a common objective of promoting industrialization in the continent and in the country. The theme of AID 2017 is African Industrial Development: A Pre-Condition for an Effective and Sustainable Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).


In the opening speech by Honourable Chares Mwijage (MP), Tanzania’s Minister for Industry Trade and Investment, read on his behalf by Mr, Obadiah Nyagiro, Director of Industries in the same ministry, the Guest of Honour to the event stated that for the past 28years the Government, UNIDOand the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) have been partnering with several stakeholders including research institutions, the academia and the private sector to commemorate the AID with the aim of promoting industrial transformation in Africa.He pointed out that the AID 2017 theme is highly related to that of the second Tanzania Industrial Products Exhibition that Tanzania is now Establishing Industries. The themes should stimulate thinking on addressing one of the industrialization challenges – mobilization of investments for establishing industries. He urged well established industrialists to share their experiences with start-ups and support their endeavors, placing strong emphasis on value addition to minimize trade in raw commodities.. He, furthermore emphasized the significance of reducing production costs and complying with national and international quality and standards for Tanzania’s products to be competitive on domestic, regional and international markets. Government is putting efforts to improve the business environment in Tanzania for national and foreign investors’ businesses to flourish. He, furthermore, urged Tanzanians to embrace Tanzania Produce to support the country’s economy.


The statement of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, was read on his behalf by Mr. Alvaro Rodrigues, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Tanzania. In his statement, Mr. Guterresstressed the fact that “Industrialization is a primary driver of economic growth and job creation” and added that “industrialization will be pivotal in efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular Goal 9, and the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063”. He also highlighted Africa’s move towards establishing a Continental Free Trade Area, the first flagship project of the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 and a key initiative for the industrialization and economic development of Africa.. The CFTA will bring together fifty-four African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than US $3.4 trillion.



The joint Statement of the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), read by Mr. Stephen Kargbo, UNIDO Representative in Tanzania, welcomed the tremendous progress which African countries have achieved in their industrialization endeavour. The statement, however, underlined the remaining challenges and much-needed efforts to set the economies of African countries on a path to poverty eradication and sustained economic growth. Mr Kargo emphasized that creating a sustainable Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) would be one of Africa’s economic growth drivers by ensuring inclusive development in Africa through enhanced quality production and manufacturing, mostly by the private sector. A decision to establish a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) was adopted during the 18th Ordinary Session Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012 and finally launched by African Heads of States in 2015.

He underscored the importance of Small and medium enterprises, which already contribute 80 per cent of the continent’s Gross Domestic Product and support 90 per cent of all jobs



Dr Nyantahe, Chairman of the Confederation of Tanzania industries, acknowledged this years’ theme of the Africa Industrialization Day as timely and termed it as wakeup call to African countries to embrace the importance of industrialization towards economic growth and integration since manufacturing is one of the main engines of economic growth. He stressed the need for the continent to shift from externally oriented trade in primary commodities to intra-regional trade of processed products which carries with it many benefits. He pointed out that Tanzania, with its recent good manufacturing annual growth rate of 7.5 attributed to structural and infrastructural improvements, is likely to benefit much from the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) initiative. However, Tanzania should invest in improving the business environment.


The symposium included presentation by MITI, TIRDO, Centre for Mini-Hydropower (CMHP) of the University of Dar es Salaam and Masasi Food Industries Limited, each presenter highly commending UNIDO’s support. For instance, MITI pointed out the Industrial Policy Analysis capacity enhanced with UNIDO’s support; TIRDO highlighted the fact that plastic recycling activities in Tanzania were first piloted by TIRDO and UNIDO and have now grown into a big business with positive impact on environment. Whereas the CMHP announced that with support provided by UNIDO it is now delivering a number of services to a broad range of stakeholders in the mini-hydropower sector, including manufacturing turbines for generation of up to 100 kW, Masasi Food, also appreciated UNIDO’s support including facilitating the process that led the enterprise to acquiring ISO 2200 Certification in early 2017. This achievement has enabled the establishment to penetrate more domestic and regional markets and prospects to enter international markets are high. Another inspiring presentation was made by MITI on KAIZEN.


The AID 2017 symposium was organized by the Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment (MITI), the Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The even attracted over 120 participants from various stake holders, including, Governmnet authorities, development partners, UN agencies, academia and the private sector.


For more information please contact:


  1. Mr. Julius Mwambeso, MITI, Tel: +255 689 547 340
  2. Mr. Gerald Runyoro, UNIDO, Tel: + 255 786 840 566
  3. Mr. Akida Mnyenyelwa, CTI, Tel: +255 782 805 299