March 13-14, 2017
Starting at 8:00 am


Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
AfDB Headquarters Auditorium

AERC Senior Policy Seminar XIX on Industrialization in Africa

The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) will host the nineteenth Senior Policy Seminar (SPS XIX) on March 13 – 14, 2017 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The conference theme will be Industrialization in Africa.AERC senior policy seminars are forums designed specifically to bring together senior policymakers from sub-Saharan African countries to exchange experiences and deliberate on topical issues pertaining to sustainable development of their economies. Participants are usually drawn from the highest level of government, including the presidency, ministers, governors of central banks, heads of civil services, permanent secretaries and heads of government agencies and parastatals. We expect a similar level of participation in this one as well, as renowned scholars make presentations on selected sub-themes.Participants will also have an opportunity to discuss pertinent issues related to industrialization at length in the plenary and at the policy roundtable.



Director, Research and Statistics, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

W Senbet

Executive Director, AERC


University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Director, UNU-WIDER


Brookings Institution, Washington, DC


Professor in Economics, Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin


Director of Private Sector Operations, African Development Bank


4:00 pm - 6:30 pm


1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Official Opening Session

Jean-Claude Brou
Ministre de l’Industrie et des Mines, République de Côte d’Ivoire

Master of Ceremony: Abebe Shimeles, AfDB
Introductory remarks: Lemma W. Senbet, Executive Director, AERC
Opening remarks: Célestin Monga, Chief Economist, AfDB

1:45 pm - 2:30 pm

Session 1 – Industrialization in Africa: Setting the Stage & Overview

Finn Tarp
UNU-WIDER, Helsinki, Finland

Session chair: Pierre, Guislain, AfDB

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Session 2 – Industrial Clusters: The Case for Special Economic Zones in Africa

Carol Newman
Trinity College, Dublin

Session chair: Kheswar Jankee, Mauritian Ambassador to Germany
Discussant: Aly Mbaye, CREA/UCAD, Senegal

Floor Discussion

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Tea/Coffee Break

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Session 3 – Learning to Export and Learning by Exporting

Eyerusalem Siba
Brookings Institution, Washington, DC

Session Chair: Monty Jones Minister of Agriculture, Sierra Leone
Discussant: Adam MugumeBank of Ugunda 

Floor Discussion

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Cocktail Reception

9:00 am - 10:30 am

Session 4 – Regional Industrialisation in Africa

Judith Fessehaie
Centre for Competition, Regulation & Economic Development, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Session chair: Louis Kasekende, Deputy Governor, Bank of Ugunda
Discussant: Nii Sowa, International Growth Centre, Ghana

Floor Discussion

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Tea/Coffee Break

11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Sessions 5 – Financing Industrial Development: Lessons from other Regions

Changwen Zhao
Development Research Centre of the State Council, China

Session chair: Frannie Leautier, Vice President, AfDB
Keun Lee, Seoul National University, Korea

Floor Discussion

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Lunch Break

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Sessions 6 – AfDB’s Industrial Strategy

Diallo Kodeida and Ludovic Alcorta

Session chair: Adolf Mkenda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Tanzania

Floor Discussion

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Tea/Coffee Break

3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Sessions 7 – Policy Roundtable

Benno Ndulu
Governor, Bank of Tanzania


Bwalya Ng’andu, Deputy Governor, Bank of Zambia
Monty Jones, Minister of Agriculture, Sierra Leone
Celestine Monga, Chief Economist, AfDB
Louis Montaze, Minister for Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Cameroon
John Page, Brookings Institution
Abigail Shonhiwa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Zimbabwe
Olivier Sunguru, President, Association of Burundi Industrialists

5:30 pm - 5:45 pm


Abebe Shimeles

5:45 pm - 6:00 pm

Vote of Thanks

Witness Simbanegavi
Director of Research , AERC

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm



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Registration is by invitation only


  • African Development Bank


Additional details

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is a multilateral development finance institution established to contribute to the economic development and social progress of African countries. The AfDB was founded in 1964 and comprises three entities: The African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. The AfDB’s mission is to fight poverty and improve living conditions on the continent through promoting the investment of public and private capital in projects and programs that are likely to contribute to the economic and social development of the region. The AfDB is a financial provider to African governments and private companies investing in the regional member countries (RMC).