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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 (ed.), 2010. "The Service Revolution in South Asia," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198065111.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Thomas Farole, 2011. "Special Economic Zones in Africa : Comparing Performance and Learning from Global Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2268, 06-2020.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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. Hoekman, Bernard & 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.
    3. 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).

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