Economic Development in Africa Report 2011

Fostering Industrial Development in Africa in the New Global Environment

image of Economic Development in Africa Report 2011

This publication examines the status of industrial development in Africa with a focus on the identification of stylized facts associated with African manufacturing. It provides an analysis of past attempts at promoting industrial development in the region and the lessons learned from these experiences. It offers policy recommendations on how to foster industrial development in Africa in the new global environment characterized by changing international trade rules, growing influence of industrial powers from the South, the internationalization of production, and increasing concerns about climate change. Finally, it argues that a new industrial policy is needed to induce structural transformation and engender development in African economies.

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Fostering industrial development in Africa: Main findings and recommendations

African countries require high and sustained economic growth to make significant progress in reducing poverty and engender development. But history and econometric evidence have shown that the prospects for high and sustained growth in any country depend largely on the degree of structural transformation of the economy (Rodrik, 2007). No country has achieved high and sustained economic growth without going through a process of structural transformation, characterized by a shift of production and exports from low productivity to high productivity goods. This suggests that what a country produces and exports matter for growth and development (Hausmann, Hwang and Rodrik, 2007).

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