Industrial policy is increasingly being talked about all over the world. Industrial policy in Africa is often seen through the lenses of political strife with a light focus on the policies in place.
Yet, experiences of all successful late industrialisers tell us that experimentation with policies, rather than replication, resulted in better outcomes.
Tanzanian telecommunications firm Maktech has become the first locally-owned firm in the country to win a telecom tower construction licence.
The licence will allow the firm to build low-cost towers that provide new network facilities in Dar es Salaam, Coastal Dodoma, Mwanza, Arusha and Mbeya regions. Maktech will build up to two hundred towers within the next five years to deliver stable and reliable network coverage across the country.
Increased telecommunications infrastructure rollout in rural Tanzania would bring social and economic benefits to millions of Tanzanians. While the growth of telecommunication services continues to rise in Tanzania, the country of 60.6 million people has an internet penetration rate of just 25% and large parts of the country still lack mobile phone connectivity.
The development is also a significant breakthrough for advocates of local leadership and ownership in a sector naturally dominated by multinational firms.
We aim to go on and create a new generation of entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector. Our entrepreneurship endeavour is being done in conjunction with a university in West Africa. It is a regional university that serves eight countries under the banner of the Economic and Monetary Union for West Africa. The university is based in Dakar Senegal (CESAG) and provides expertise as well as knowledge capital to our students. We, on the other hand, work with our partners to fund activities that have to do with coaching and mentoring our first cohort of students.
We have built partnerships extensively in different countries and are working to develop new ones. It is also important for us to keep developing our entrepreneurship programme. We are looking to develop partnerships with more universities so that we can improve the programme progressively. Contact has been established with a few universities and they are all upbeat about the idea.
There are few industries as pivotal to driving Africa’s sustainable economic development as the civil engineering sector.
No shortage of challenges lies ahead in the development of Africa’s built environment. These challenges are, primarily, financial; How can capital be raised to improve infrastructure and living conditions across the continent? And, environmental; How can a continent of over 1.2bn people (and counting) develop without accelerating climate change and degrading the natural environment?
Shaping a path of truly sustainable economic development on the African continent will need engineering minds at the forefront of policymaking, strategy, and delivery.
As the leading economies of the continent seek to accelerate industrialisation, does Africa’s civil engineering sector have the depth and capacity to deliver on the mega-projects required for growth?
Who are the innovators that will find solutions to challenges around affordable housing, the infrastructure gap, skills shortage, access to capital and environmental impact?
AfricaLive.net speaks with sector leaders from across Africa to understand how African civil engineers seek to shape the future of the continent.