Rwanda President Paul Kagame has called for continued investment in citizens of the African continent in critical skills that drive industrialisation to make the most of potential in trade and industry, the New Times reports.

Kagame was at the 19th General Conference of The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation which works to reduce poverty.

He said that the continent’s vast resources give Africa comparative advantage but there is a need to invest in people and skills.

“Africa’s vast resources give us a comparative advantage but we need to see more tangible results for our people, from this immense wealth. That means above all, investing in people and in the skills that drive industrialisation,” he said.

Kagame said that despite the gains made by the continent with regard to economic performance in recent decades, the pandemic had reserved some of the gains and progress made. This he said highlights the importance of industrialisation to get economies back on track and to drive growth.

Sharing ways that the continent can reach its manufacturing potential, Kagame said that trade should be a key component of Africa’s strategy.

“If the African Continental Free Trade Area is successfully implemented, the manufacturing sector is expected to double in size in the coming decade, creating over a million jobs,” he said.

The President added that the use of digital technologies should be prioritized to raise productivity and facilitate cross-border trade.

“Clean and green strategies must be at the forefront of our industrial policy, reflecting the urgency of the climate crisis,” he added.

Kagame also paid tribute to the outgoing Director General Li Yong and welcomed the incoming boss Dr. Gerd Muller.

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