Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Smart industrialisation through trade in the context of Africa’s transformation

Briefing/policy paper

Written by Linda Calabrese, Maximiliano Mendez-Parra

Hero image description: Salad traders in Garoule market, Mali. Image credit:© Irina Mosel / ODI Image license:CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Africa's experience of industrialisation has been disappointing. Globally, the share of manufacturing in total output rises with per capita income until countries reach upper-middle-income status, then declines as services become more prevalent at higher incomes; however, this has not been the case in Africa. Fresh thinking is needed on how to achieve Africa’s industrialisation objectives, and trade has a key role to play.

This brief, produced in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, explores how the idea of using trade and trade policy to support industrialisation has experienced a recent resurgence, and provides a set of policy recommendations for African economies looking to industrialise smartly through trade.

Lily Sommer, Linda Calabrese, Maximiliano Mendez-Parra and David Luke