Fostering Industrial Development in Africa in the New Global Environment

Fostering Industrial Development in Africa in the New Global Environment

REPORT: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) say that an important factor in reducing poverty on the continent is industrialisation.

UNCTAD and UNIDO, July 2011

"If African countries are to achieve substantial poverty reduction and also the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), they have to go through a process of structural transformation involving a decrease in the share of agriculture and an increase in the share of industry and modern services in output, with a shift between and within sectors from lower productivity to higher productivity activities" the report states.

A particular focus is given to manufacturing. The report says that "there is a large literature that suggests that the manufacturing sector is the component of industry that presents greater opportunities for sustained growth, employment and poverty reduction in Africa."

The experience of Korea is listed as one possible example in the report. However, according to Korea Times, Nam Young-sook, professor of International Development Studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul warns that “The situation facing Korea 30 or 40 years ago when it relentlessly pursued industrialization and Africa today is very different. This means that the lessons that Korea learned from the condensed industrialization period could not work out in poor African nations as intended. This is because people in these nations live under very different social and economic settings."

Download the full text of the UNCTAD-UNIDO report here



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