Economic Report on Africa 2014

Dynamic Industrial Policy in Africa

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For millions of Africans, growth is yet to translate into jobs and better living conditions. Africa’s largely commodity- driven growth has not been matched by the much needed structural change that can lead to economic transformation, employment, and reduced poverty. Market failures necessitate industrial policy interventions. Yet, in the absence of the right processes and institutions, good industrial policies will fail. Indeed, weak institutions and poor policy design have hindered industrial policy. This report gives a framework for getting the policy process right to foster industrialization. It uses 11 country case studies to assess the critical ingredients for spurring industrialization – innovative institutions, effective processes and flexible mechanisms – and structural transformation.

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Industrial policy in Africa: Institutional dynamics and challenges

There is a strong consensus that an expanding and prosperous industrial sector is crucial to the structural transformation of African economies and that, given the ubiquity of market failures, industrial policy interventions are usually required to address these failures. Markets by themselves are also generally incapable of undertaking the kinds of structural transformation needed to move from low- to high-productivity activities.

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