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Economic Report on Africa 2014

Dynamic Industrial Policy in Africa

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For millions of Africans, growth is yet to translate into jobs and better living conditions. Africa’s largely commodity- driven growth has not been matched by the much needed structural change that can lead to economic transformation, employment, and reduced poverty. Market failures necessitate industrial policy interventions. Yet, in the absence of the right processes and institutions, good industrial policies will fail. Indeed, weak institutions and poor policy design have hindered industrial policy. This report gives a framework for getting the policy process right to foster industrialization. It uses 11 country case studies to assess the critical ingredients for spurring industrialization – innovative institutions, effective processes and flexible mechanisms – and structural transformation.

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Examples of Africa’s industrial policy processes and institutional dynamics

Drawing on the framework in chapter 3 and using examples from a dozen countries (box 4.1), this chapter shows how the problems of industrial policy have affected the operations of industrial policy organizations (IPOs) in Africa–and how these problems have been avoided or minimized. For exposition purposes, it breaks the cases down into three main sections by type of failure (or reason for success), but in fact many of the cases offer more than one of each of these elements.

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