ADDIS ABABA, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- This year's edition of the African Industrialization Week (AIW-2019) is set to attract over 1,000 African experts and policymakers amid calls for industry policy coherence, the African Union (AU) announced on Friday.
The AU said in a statement issued on Friday that the 2019 edition of the AIW, slated from November 18 to 22 at the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, will be held under the theme "Positioning African Industry to Supply the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Market."
The week-long event will also feature the Africa Industrialization Day on Nov. 20 that will bring together a number of African leaders in Addis Ababa.
The continental event is expected to attract sectoral profiles ranging from high-tech companies, manufacturers, tourism, medicare, automotive, textiles, fertilizers, and the financial sector, among others.
The event will bring together more than 1,000 multi-stakeholder delegates drawn from the private sector, public sector, civil society, development partners, trade and industry think-tanks within and outside Africa, according to the AU.
The AU also announced that 900 representatives across various sectors have confirmed their participation so far, registering a major boost compared to the 300 delegates in 2018's edition of the event.
The AU also noted that the sectoral profiles that are set to gather at this year's AIW are "critical areas for Africa's economic transformation in the medium-to- long-term," the AU said.
The AU also emphasized the vital importance of this year's edition of the Africa Industrialization Week, as it builds upon the "positive outcomes" of the inaugural 2018 edition of AIW as well as its timing on the backdrop of the launch of the Operational Phase of the AfCFTA Agreement in July this year.
"With the AfCFTA ushering in a market space of at least 3.4 trillion U.S. dollars, and a consumer base of 1.27 billion people, there is no doubt that moving the continent's industrial production frontier, becomes critical, as enterprises tap into large scale opportunities on the back of free trade," an AU statement read.
The AIW 2019, which is said to leverage public-private dialogue platforms, mainly seeks to engender industry policy coherence in Africa, and enhance effective engagement of key stakeholders by the AU Commission on industrialization and trade-related subjects in the context of the AfCFTA, it was noted.
The annual celebration also envisaged accelerating synergies between the private and public sectors as they interface with global capital and technology, as well as exploring the possibilities of a new model of developing Africa's productive capacities to boost intra-African trade.
The AU, noting the urgency to boost industrial capacity to supply the AfCFTA market and beyond, also stressed that the AIW celebrations "will explore tools and business instruments that strengthen industry sector's capacity to compete and innovate."
The promotion of domestic and foreign investment is also said to be another prime aspiration for this year's continental industrialization week.
The continental industrialization week is organized by the AU Commission's Department of Trade and Industry in collaboration with International Trade Centre, Geneva (ITC), Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Africa Free Zones Organization (AFZO), the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), European Union, among others.