Can Africa Industrialise?


by John Page


Africa needs structural change to sustain growth. Industry with and without smoke stacks is key, but Africa has deindustrialised since the 1970s. Can Africa industrialise? Rising costs and domestic demand in Asia offer an opportunity. However, trade in tasks, firm capabilities and agglomeration will drive industrial location choices. Strategies to deal with these drivers of change are needed. Investment climate reforms should focus less on regulation and more on the gaps in infrastructure and skills. Policies to push exports, build firm capabilities and support agglomerations are also needed. Success will depend crucially on new donor attitudes and how policy is implemented.

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