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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Towards a new industrial policy in Africa: Taking account of the new global environment

Over the past two decades, the global environment has changed significantly in many respects. International trade is increasingly under regulation in ways that limit the policy space available to governments (UNCTAD, 2004). Developing countries are beginning to play important roles in the global market for manufactured goods, with consequences for the ability of African countries to penetrate export markets. In addition, concern for climate change is generating interest in the use of environmentally friendly technologies and methods of production. Furthermore, production is increasingly being fragmented and located across national borders, thereby intensifying competition.

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