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Manufacturing Transformation: Comparative Studies of Industrial Development in Africa and Emerging Asia


  • Newman, Carol
    (Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)

  • Page, John
    (Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development, The Brookings Institution)

  • Rand, John
    (Professor, Development Economics Research Group (DERG), Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Shimeles, Abebe
    (Acting Director, Development Research Department, African Development Bank)

  • Soderbom, Mans
    (Professor of Economics and Head of the Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)

  • Tarp, Finn
    (Director UNU-WIDER and Professor of Development Economics at the University of Copenhagen)


While it is possible for economies to grow based on abundant land or natural resources, more often structural change-the shift of resources from low-productivity to high-productivity sectors-is the key driver of economic growth. Structural transformation is vital for Africa. The region's much-lauded growth turnaround since 1995 has been the result of making fewer economic policy mistakes, robust commodity prices, and new discoveries of natural resources. At the same time, Africa's economic structure has changed very little. Primary commodities and natural resources still account for the bulk of the region's exports. Industry is most often the leading driver of structural transformation. Africa's experience with industrialization over the past thirty years has been disappointing. In 2010, sub-Saharan Africa's average share of manufacturing value added in GDP was ten per cent, unchanged from the 1970s. Actually, the share of medium- and high-tech goods in manufacturing production has been falling since the mid-1990s. Per capita manufactured exports are less than ten per cent of the developing country average. Consequently, Africa's industrial transformation has yet to take place. This book presents results of comparative country-based research that sought to answer a seemingly simple but puzzling question: why is there so little industry in Africa? It brings together detailed country case studies of industrial policies and industrialization outcomes in eleven countries, conducted by teams of national researchers in partnership with international experts on industrial development. It provides the reader with the most comprehensive description and analysis available to date of the contemporary industrialization experience in low-income Africa. This is an open access title available under the terms of a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO licence. It is free to read at Oxford Scholarship Online and offered as a free PDF download from OUP and selected open access locations. Contributors to this volume - Charles Ackah, University of Ghana John Adeoti, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research Foluso Adeyinka, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research Charles Adjasi, University of Stellenbosch Mohamed Ayadi, Institut Superieur de Gestion de Tunis Sokty Chhair, Cambodian Economic Association Jacob Chege, KIPPRA Louis Chete, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research Ji Eun Choi, African Development Bank Fatou Cisse, Consortium pour la Recherche Economique et Sociale, Dakar Antonio S. Cruz, UNU-WIDER Mulu Gebreeyesus, Ethiopian Development Research Institute Dina Guambe, University Eduardo Mondlane Eria Hisali, Makerere University Julius Kiiza, Makerere University Peter Kimuyu, University of Nairobi Luu Minh Duc, Central Institute for Economic Management Constantino Pedro Marrengula, University in Maputo Wided Mattoussi, University of Jendouba Mathilde Maurel, CNRS and FERDI Jamal Msami, REPOA Carol Newman, Trinity College Dublin Nguyen Thi Tue Anh, Central Institute for Economic Management Dianah Ngui, Kenyatta University Marios Obwona, Governance and Economic Management Support (GEMS) Program Femi Oladapo Ogundele, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research John Page, Brookings Institution and UNU-WIDER John Rand, University of Copenhagen Abebe Shimeles, African Development Bank Isaac Shinyekwa, Economic Policy Research Centre Mans Soderbom, University of Gothenburg Finn Tarp, UNU-WIDER and University of Copenhagen Trinh Duc Chieu, Central Institute for Economic Management, Vietnam Festus Turkson, University of Ghana Amosse Francisco Ubisse, J-PAL Africa Luyna Ung, MEF Samuel Wangwe, REPOA

Suggested Citation

  • Newman, Carol & Page, John & Rand, John & Shimeles, Abebe & Soderbom, Mans & Tarp, Finn (ed.), 2016. "Manufacturing Transformation: Comparative Studies of Industrial Development in Africa and Emerging Asia," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198776987.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780198776987

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ghani, Ejaz & Kharas, Homi, 2010. "The Service Revolution," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 14, pages 1-5, May.
    2. Subramanian, Uma & Matthijs, Matthias, 2007. "Can Sub-Saharan Africa leap into global network trade ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4112, The World Bank.
    3. Lawrence Edwards & Robert Z. Lawrence, 2014. "AGOA Rules: The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Special Fabric Provisions," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes, Volume III: Modernization and Development, pages 343-393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mehmet C. Arabaci & Sencer Ecer, 2014. "The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Catalytic Effect: Do IMF Agreements Improve Access of Emerging Economies to International Financial Markets?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(11), pages 1575-1588, November.
    5. Justin Yifu Lin, 2013. "From Flying Geese to Leading Dragons: New Opportunities and Strategies for Structural Transformation in Developing Countries," International Economic Association Series, in: Joseph E. Stiglitz & Justin Lin Yifu & Ebrahim Patel (ed.), The Industrial Policy Revolution II, chapter 1, pages 50-70, Palgrave Macmillan.
    6. Alan Gelb & Christian Meyer & Vijaya Ramachandran, 2013. "Does Poor Mean Cheap? A Comparative Look at Africa's Industrial Labor Costs," Working Papers 325, Center for Global Development.
    7. Bräutigam, Deborah & Tang, Xiaoyang, 2014. "“Going Global in Groups”: Structural Transformation and China’s Special Economic Zones Overseas," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 78-91.
    8. Yoshino, Yutaka, 2008. "Domestic constraints, firm characteristics, and geographical diversification of firm-level manufacturing exports in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4575, The World Bank.
    9. Ghani, Ejaz (ed.), 2010. "The Service Revolution in South Asia," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198065111.
    10. Eifert, Benn & Gelb, Alan & Ramachandran, Vijaya, 2008. "The Cost of Doing Business in Africa: Evidence from Enterprise Survey Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 1531-1546, September.
    11. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
    12. Hinh T. Dinh & George R.G. Clarke, 2012. "Performance of Manufacturing Firms in Africa : An Empirical Analysis," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 11959, December.
    13. Thomas Farole, 2011. "Special Economic Zones in Africa : Comparing Performance and Learning from Global Experience," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 2268, December.
    14. Hinh T. Dinh & Vincent Palmade & Vandana Chandra & Frances Cossar, 2012. "Light Manufacturing in Africa : Targeted Policies to Enhance Private Investment and Create Jobs [L’industrie légère en Afrique : Politiques ciblées pour susciter l’investissement privé et créer des," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 2245, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bernard Hoekman, 2017. "Trade in services: Opening markets to create opportunities," WIDER Working Paper Series 031, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. R, Rekha & M, Suresh Babu, 2022. "Premature deindustrialisation and growth slowdowns in middle-income countries," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 377-389.
    3. Thomas Daum & Ygué Patrice Adegbola & Geoffrey Kamau & Alpha Oumar Kergna & Christogonus Daudu & Wahab Akeem Adebowale & Carine Adegbola & Charles Bett & Wellington Mulinge & Roch Cedrique Zossou & Ab, 2024. "Made in Africa – How to make local agricultural machinery manufacturing thrive," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(2), pages 1079-1109, March.
    4. Bernard Hoekman, 2017. "Trade in services: Opening markets to create opportunities," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-31, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Damilola Kuteyi & Herwig Winkler, 2022. "Logistics Challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa and Opportunities for Digitalization," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(4), pages 1-18, February.
    6. Kabinet Kaba & Justin Yifu Lin & Mary‐Françoise Renard, 2022. "Structural change and trade openness in sub‐Saharan African countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(7), pages 2101-2134, July.
    7. Rekha Ravindran & Suresh Babu Manalaya, 2023. "Does Premature Deindustrialisation Stall Growth? Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," Progress in Development Studies, , vol. 23(1), pages 65-81, January.
    8. James Murunga & Nelson W. Wawire & Moses K. Muriithi, 2021. "Tax Revenue Productivity of Tax Reforms in Kenya," International Journal of Economics and Finance, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 13(12), pages 1-42, December.
    9. John Weiss & Adnan Seric, 2021. "Industrial policy: Clarifying options through taxonomy and decision trees," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 39(5), pages 773-788, September.
    10. Sanfilippo, Marco, 2018. "Firm performance and participation in public procurement: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 12752, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Getachew Jenber Feleke, 2022. "Industrialization Lessons to Africa and Other Developing Economies," International Journal of Science and Business, IJSAB International, vol. 16(1), pages 232-241.

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