The Political Economy of Industrialization in Africa
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Africa’s quest to industrialize is not new. This ambition dates as far back as half a century ago. The founding fathers of the continent’s liberation struggle envisioned that the most sustainable pathway to Africa’s development is to modernize agriculture, industrialize and build the required human capacity with a strong focus on science, technology and innovation. As much as we could commend our founding fathers for their long-term vision for the continent’s pathway to sustainable development, Africa has very little to show for its industrialization, 50 to 60 years down the line. After half a century, Africa’s political independence has not translated into economic emancipation. Africa is still the most unequal continent in the world in all its different forms such as access to land, income, quality education, healthcare, housing, opportunities, services, and so on. Unemployment is still high especially among the youth. This chapter examines the journey to industrialization in Africa in terms of the policy design, the weaknesses and the prospects achieving development on the continent.
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