(TAP) – An expert group meeting on the “Territorialisation of Industrial Policy and Inclusive Development” was held on Thursday in Tunis by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Office for North Africa.
The meeting seeks to identify necessary reforms for the territorialisation of industrial policies to contribute to a more inclusive development in North Africa.
Acting Director of the ECA office for North Africa Omar Ismael Abdourahman said this event is an opportunity to discuss and enrich the main preliminary results of a study carried out by the Commission to draw up an inventory of the territorialisation of industrial policies In North Africa and its impact on inclusive development in the sub-region.
He added that on the basis of the preliminary results of this study and the contributions of experts, the meeting should make it possible to identify the obstacles to be overcome and the institutional reforms needed to ensure that industrial policies better integrate the issues of inclusive development, while at the same time ensuring its role in the development of the industrial sector.
In his view, industrialisation could contribute to the development of more inclusive development to protect social gains and stability in the region.
It is also an essential pillar of the structural transformation needed to diversify production and protect economies of North Africa from the upheavals of the global economy.
Zoubir Benhamouche, ECA representative, said experts from the ministries of industry and local government and institutions responsible for territorial planning of public policies, who are meeting for two days, will draw up an inventory of the industrial policies implemented in the sub-region and their territorial dimension. They will also share experiences and good practices in the governance of industrial policies and coordination of public policies.
Zied Ladhari, Minister of Industry and Trade, pointed out that this workshop will provide very useful recommendations for the region to make the African region an engine of industrial development.
He affirmed that industrial policies need to be based on concrete projects, adding that the industrial development of territories needs to be considered in projects requiring the development of great management, follow-up and monitoring capacities at all Levels with the necessary political support at the highest level.
“Without the development of a more competitive industry, more balanced between regions and generating more added-value and jobs, Tunisia will not be able to ensure its economic take-off and risks ruining its democracy,” noted Zied Ladhari
He added that “Tunisia has undertaken a major effort to balance the industrial infrastructure between inland and coastal regions, which is currently experiencing a very serious imbalance.”
The share of the population in industrial zones is of 2.2 hectares (ha) per 10, 000 inhabitants for inland regions, whereas it is 6.3 ha / 10,000 for coastal regions, he added.
For this reason, the country has planned the development of 1,500 hectares for inland regions in the period 2016-2020, Ladhari pointed out.