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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Africa’s recent impressive economic performance continued despite subdued global economic activity and is expected to accelerate further in the medium term. Africans are eager to see this growth sustained, accelerated and translated into new employment opportunities, secure incomes and improved livelihoods. But the growth so far has not been inclusive, and structural transformation on the continent remains limited. Africa’s commodity and investment-driven expansion has not created the jobs to meet the continent’s growing young population, and this growth path has left the continent vulnerable to external commodity prices, demand shocks and internal weaknesses.

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