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Industrialisation in Africa


Maudo Jallow, a Project Pakati Board Member and former Co-chair, speaks about industrialisation on the African continent – its challenges, the role governments can play, and what is needed for successful industrialisation. He is the founder of New Nation – a youth-driven initiative that seeks to advocate for the prioritisation of youth development and the improvement of education in The Gambia.

Maudo currently works as an analyst for the Tony Blair Institute in Ghana and leads content creation and strategy for Future Africa Forum’s industrialization focus area. In the video below, you can watch him as he discusses industrialisation in Africa - agro-processing to manufacturing - and in which he unpacks its benefits and challenges.

Maudo highlights how contentious the debate is about the role of the government versus the private sector regarding industrialisation on the continent. He explains that the state’s main responsibility in driving industrialisation is to provide the industrial policy framework, perhaps even naming priority sectors, which must then be grounded in strong research. The state may go further to create incentives for investors for priority and strategic sectors. He also explains the three major benefits of industrialisation, namely job creation, movement up the value chain of goods produced; and global trade and global value chain integration.

The challenges most African countries face in industrialising, Maudo explains, are a lack of effective coordination, strategic investments, human capital, technology and expertise. Structurally, the disincentive for many resource-rich African countries to diversify their economies also poses a considerable obstacle to lasting industrialisation. His recommendations for governments in Africa are based on three main pillars, specifically, technology transfer, political savviness and a modern industrial policy, and coordination mechanisms that bring together the private sector, technocrats and politicians. Industrialisation will not successfully be achieved without all three working together. 

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Tuesday, 24 May 2022

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