, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 614–619 | Cite as

Can Africa Diversify its Exports? Lessons from Ethiopia

  • Michael MbateEmail author
Local/Global Encounters


This article argues that successful export diversification – in terms of products, markets and upgrading – is contingent on an ‘innovative and dynamic state-led industrial policy’. It argues that addressing political economy distortions as well as the existence of institutional frameworks that address both market and government failures, engage firms in learning by doing, provide targeted incentives and promote investments in new economic activities are all necessary pre-conditions to enhance structural change through industrial policy. This approach has successfully fostered export diversification in Ethiopia’s flourishing leather industry, offering possible experiences to other African countries .


export diversification industrial policy Ethiopia 


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Copyright information

© Society for International Development 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International DevelopmentLondon School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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