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Interview: BRICS should help bolster Africa's industrialization drive: expert


19:34, March 27, 2013

LUSAKA, March 27 (Xinhua) -- African governments should take advantage of the 5th BRICS Summit in South Africa to partner with the emerging economies in bolstering industrialization on the continent, a development expert told Xinhua on Wednesday.

In an interview with Xinhua, Richard Musauka, the head of Development Partnership International (DPI) Zambia Chapter, an organization that promotes social justice and development, said: "We expect BRICS to partner with Africa to ensure that they provide technical advice on how Africa can initiate industrialization. The high poverty levels in Africa are not because there are no natural resources but the missing link is industry."

According to him, boosting industrialization in Africa will have spiral effects as it will result in increased job creation, growth of the manufacturing industry as well as value addition to Africa's abundant natural resources.

"African countries should seize this opportunity by ensuring that they partner with BRICS nations in not only setting up industries but also finding ways of to properly manage and account for public resources," he added.

BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world's leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The summit was held at Durban International Convention Center, under the theme of "BRICS and Africa 'Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialization'".

The expert further said the BRICS nations should help African nations on how to mechanize the agriculture sector in order to increase production as three quarters of Africa's population depends on agriculture. According to him, mechanization of the agriculture sector will go a long way in ensuring that African nations make headways in the attainment of goal one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal on halving poverty and reducing extreme hunger by 2015, adding that BRICS nations have experience in mechanization of the agriculture sector.

Isaac Chipampe, the head of one of Zambia's leading daily newspapers, the Zambia Daily Mail told Xinhua in a separate interview that Africa should seize the opportunity presented by the forthcoming BRICS Summit by ensuring that they partner with the emerging nations on how to improve the education sector and on technological transfer. According to him, countries that have developed such as the BRICS nations invested heavily in the education sector as well as in technology, adding that Africa should learn something during the summit.

"Countries that have developed are those with huge populations that have been educated. Africa should put education high on the agenda. That is what will develop Africa," he said.

"I don't think we can go anywhere without computers. Everything now is high-tech. If we are part of the global agenda, we need to refocus on our education system and technology," he added.

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