Industrial Policy and Economic Transformation in Africa

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Industrial Policy and Economic Transformation in Africa

The revival of economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa to over 5% annually is all the more welcome following the "lost quarter century" under the "Washington Consensus" reforms.

Nevertheless, African countries have typically made little or no progress in transforming their economies. The deindustrialization of Africa, which began in the late 1970s, is yet to be reversed; moreover, the decline in per capita income did not recover to 1974 levels until 2004.

So how can economic transformation be promoted to ensure sustainable growth that continues to improve the lives of African people?

This book is a collaborative effort of the JICA Research Institute and the Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD), led by Professor Joseph Stiglitz of Colombia University, who is a Nobel prize winner in Economics. The JICA Research Institute and IPD have conducted joint research on the economic transformation of Africa, and the findings have been shared and discussed with African policy makers in the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) as well as on other occasions.

The focus of this book is the vital role that government industrial policies can play in transforming African economies. Such policies are not confined to industry; rather, they traverse all economic sectors including finance, information technology, and agriculture.

"As Africa seeks economic transformation for sustained growth, its policymakers need to reverse the tendencies of the ‘Washington Consensus' reforms, which on the one hand pay too little attention to the benefits of learning, to critical issues of pacing, sequencing, and to the development of state capacity, including the capacity to implement reforms; and on the other hand place too much faith in markets as efficient, stable, and developmentally transformative."

This book was edited by Stiglitz and also Akbar Noman, a senior fellow at IPD as well as an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University.

JICA-RI Senior Research Advisor Akio Hosono wrote the chapter "Industrial Strategy and Economic Transformation: Lessons From Five Outstanding Cases" and Research Fellow Go Shimada wrote the chapter "The Economic Implications of a Comprehensive Approach to Learning on Industrial Policy: The Case of Ethiopia."

Joint Research Project
Joseph STIGLITZ, Akbar Noman
Date of issuance
September 2015
Columbia University Press
Number of pages
328 page
Related areas
  • #Africa
  • #Economic Policy
  • #Private Sector Development
  • #Poverty Reduction
978-0-231-175180-0 (paper)
978-0-231-54077-3 (ebook)