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14 May 2018

Africa’s industrialisation top of the agenda at the 8th AUR Conference

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Pretoria, Thursday 10 May 2018 – The Human Science Research Council’s 8th African Unity for Renaissance International Conference and Africa Day Expo will bring together continental experts to look at the question of Africa’s industrialisation and associated benefits.

Themed Accelerating Industrialisation in Africa: Implications for Job Creation and Poverty Alleviation, the conference at Saint George Hotel in Irene, Pretoria is scheduled from 23rd to 24th May 2018.  Deliberations will culminate in an Africa Day celebration at Ditsong Museums of South Africa on 25th May 2018.

The Conference, which forms part of the South Africa’s Africa Month commemoration, is aimed at bringing together thought leaders and academics who will share their views on the key factors to support the continental vision for industrialisation.

Particular attention will be focused on the global and local policy, institutional regime, hard infrastructure, local and regional economic linkages (e.g. Special Economic Zones), human capital development, national systems of innovation and the role of natural resources endowment which support industrialisation.

According to the Conference Chair, Dr Emmanuel Owusu-Sekyere, Africa’s vision for industrialisation is crucial to the continent’s development agenda articulated in, amongst others, Agenda 2063.

“Industrialisation is at the core of Africa’s development agenda, the core of which is to reduce poverty and inequality through, amongst others, the creation of decent jobs,” said Dr Owusu-Sekyere.

“To enable these objectives, governments, business and civil society in Africa must begin to implement their plans aimed at growing their economies.  This will be crucial to positioning the continent as an investment destination while developing the necessary skills and competencies to beneficiate our collective natural resources.  Delegates at the AUR will look at all of these issues which we hope will begin to influence the relevant policy frameworks,” concluded Dr Owusu-Sekyere

The conference is organised in partnership with the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST), Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (TMALI), Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), City of Tshwane (CoT), International Council for Science – Regional Office for Africa (ICSU), Water Research Commission (WRC), University of South Africa (UNISA), and Ditsong Museum of South Africa.

Discussions are set to proceed under four main broad sub-themes:
Sub-Theme 1: From a comparative to a competitive advantage: Industrialisation and the extractive industry (mining, oil and gas)
Sub-Theme 2: Agricultural modernisation
Sub-Theme 3: Infrastructure development as an input and outcome of industrialisation
Sub-Theme 4: The development of human capital for industrialisation

It is also anticipated that the 2018 conference will lead to the following outcomes:
•    Identification and articulation of major barriers to and main drivers for Africa’s industrialisation.
•    Improved understanding of how the continent can develop local industrial upstream and downstream linkages in its natural resources sector to enhance its competitive advantage, create employment and poverty reduction.
•    A deeper understanding of how Africa’s agricultural and infrastructural development deficit can be addressed, including sustainable funding models.
•    Identification of workable approaches to making all dimensions of human capacity development in Africa relevant to its industrialisation aspirations.

Media is invited to attend as follows:
Date                :    Wednesday 23 May 2018
Time                :    08h00 – 10h15
Venue                :    Saint George Hotel and Conference Centre, Pretoria

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact Adziliwi Nematandani, 0827659191 or

Follow the conversation on #AUR2018 #AfricanIndustrialisation #JobCreation #PovertyAlleviation #AfricaDayExpo2018 

Notes to the Editor

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

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For more information please contact:

Manusha Pillai
Mobile:  082 389 3587

Adziliwi Nematandani
Mobile: 082 765 9191

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