Can Africa’s Third Industrial Development Decade Deliver?

Delivering sustainable economic growth
Posted Nov 30, 2020 | Inter Press Service, Jenny Larsen

A debt crisis, ill-designed structural adjustment policies and a crash in commodity prices left Africa poorer at the end of the 1980s than at the beginning. Many of the same problems persisted throughout the 1990s as efforts to advance industrial development achieved little. Jenny Larsen suggests in this article for the Inter Press Service that despite challenges and a levelling off in GDP growth since 2017, many African countries have strengthened their industrial and agro-processing sectors, notably in food and beverages, leather, textiles, automotive and heavy machinery. Although the impetus from policymakers and governments grew throughout the 2000s, it was not until 2016 that coordinated action was launched under the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III). The diversity needed for manufacturing to take off under this agenda has not yet taken root, but there are pockets of success.


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