Monday, July 15, 2024

UNCTAD spells out how to transform Africa into a global supply chain hub

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will unveil a roadmap on how African economies can become major participants in global supply chains in its Economic Development in Africa Report 2023 to be launched on 16 August.

Efforts to fortify global supply chains in the face of recent disruptions have opened up opportunities for Africa to become a manufacturing destination for tech-intensive industries.

Its abundance of critical minerals and metals, vital components in technology-intensive industries, positions the continent as an attractive destination for manufacturing.

In Botswana, the mining group De Beers says it spent more than P4 billion in 2016 purchasing goods and services from local businesses according to the Group’s 2016 Report to Society. 

De Beers Group and its joint ventures also increased the amount they invested in community development programmes in Botswana by 31 per cent to P124 million in 2016. Funding was provided for a range of projects, including upgrades to community health and education facilities, accommodation programmes for key workers and cultural tourism development.

Recognising the importance of Botswana’s rich ecosystem, De Beers Group and its joint ventures also ran a number of programmes designed to protect species under threat or in danger of extinction.

This included a rhino conservation initiative, supported by Debswana – the 50/50 joint venture between De Beers Group and the Government of the Republic of Botswana – to increase the country’s rhino population through a breeding programme that then releases rhinos back into the wild.

UNCTAD says supply chains encompass the intricate web of systems and resources needed to develop, produce and transport goods and services from suppliers to customers.

The main launch of the report will take place in Nairobi, with other press conferences in Dakar and Geneva.

UNCTAD is the UN’s leading institution dealing with trade and development. It is a permanent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1964.

UNCTAD is part of the UN Secretariat and has a membership of 195 countries, one of the largest in the UN system. UNCTAD supports developing countries to access the benefits of a globalized economy more fairly and effectively.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper