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Economic Report on Africa 2013

Making the Most of Africa's Commodities-Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation

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Africa’s growth plummeted during its ‘lost decades’ of the 1980s and 1990s while unemployment soared, and production and export bases became more concentrated. Africa boasts significant human and natural resources that can be used to promote industrialization and structural economic transformation through value-addition strategies in all sectors. This publication examines key constraints and opportunities for African countries to make the most of their commodities by adding value through linkage development. It also addresses how African countries can design and implement policies to promote value addition and economic transformation, and reduce their dependence on producing and exporting unprocessed commodities.

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Making the most of linkages in industrial commodities

This chapter focuses on how well Africa is making the most of primary commodities to develop linkages for its industrial commodities and to drive its industrialization. It deals primarily with backward linkages to local suppliers, but also discusses some forward processing and marketing linkages. The industrial commodity sectors discussed are cotton, textiles and clothing (Egypt); leather (Ethiopia); oil (Nigeria); copper (Zambia); gold (Ghana); and mining supplies (South Africa).

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