New African Development Bank report, partners finds 37 African countries have been industrialized in the past decade

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

According to a new report by the African Development Bank (, the African Union and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), 37 out of 52 African countries have become more industrialized over the past 11 years.

The Africa Industrialization Index (AII) report provides an assessment of the progress of 52 African countries against 19 key country-level indicators. The report will enable African governments to identify benchmark countries to assess their own industrial performance and identify best practices more effectively.

The African Development Bank, African Union and UNIDO co-launched the inaugural edition of the AII on the sidelines of the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification in Niamey, Niger.

Assessing industrialization against a set of metrics

The index’s 19 indicators include manufacturing output, capital, labor, business environment, infrastructure and macroeconomic stability. The index also ranks the industrialization of African countries along three dimensions: performance, direct determinants, and indirect determinants. Direct determinants include endowments such as capital and labor and how these are used to drive industrial development. Indirect determinants include favorable environmental conditions such as macroeconomic stability, sound institutions and infrastructure.

South Africa maintained a very high ranking throughout the 2010-2021 period, closely followed by Morocco, which ranked second from 2022. Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritius and Eswatini round out the top 6 over this period.

Abdu Mukhtar, African Development Bank Director for Industrial and Trade Development, represented the institution at the launch event. He said while Africa has shown encouraging progress in industrialization over the 2010-2022 period, the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have set back its efforts and revealed gaps in production systems. “The continent has a unique opportunity to eliminate this dependency by further integrating and conquering its own emerging markets.”

He added: “Africa’s continental free trade area creates a unique opportunity for a single market for 1.3 billion people, and combined consumer and business spending of up to $4 trillion creates an opportunity to improve their trade and manufacturing links and… Finally, industrial competitiveness can benefit from regional integration, as other regions have done.”

The African Development Bank has invested up to US$8 billion over the past 5 years as part of its High 5 priority “Industrialize Africa High-5”. “In the pharmaceutical sector alone, we want to spend at least 3 billion US dollars by 2030,” Mukhtar said.

Building a productive industry will be an essential part of Africa’s development and will provide a path to accelerated structural change, creating large-scale formal jobs and inclusive growth. However, Africa’s share of global production has fallen to current levels of less than 2%. A more proactive industrial policy is seen as crucial for the trend reversal, but this is knowledge-intensive and requires a detailed understanding of the constraints and opportunities each country faces.

Added value in manufacturing more important than size of the economy

Other key findings from the report include:

  • During the reporting period, Djibouti, Benin, Mozambique, Senegal, Ethiopia, Guinea, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana and Uganda climbed five or more places in the rankings.
  • The front runners are not necessarily those with the largest economies, but those countries that generate high per capita value added in manufacturing, with a significant proportion of manufactured goods destined for export;
  • North Africa remains the most advanced African region in industrial development, followed by Southern Africa, Central Africa, West Africa and East Africa.

Synergies with the African Industry Observatory

The Africa Industrialization Index was one of two new tools presented at the event. The second – and complementary – African Industry Observatory, launched by UNIDO and the African Union, will serve as a central online knowledge platform to collect, analyze and consolidate the quantitative data needed for qualitative analysis of national, regional and pan-continental Industry trends are required. predictions and comparisons.

Chiza Charles Chiumya, Acting Director for Industry, Minerals, Entrepreneurship and Tourism at the African Union Commission, said: “These tools will greatly enhance our industrial policy and help bring in the needed focus that industrialization needs from both policymakers and as well like the private sector, which will now see clearly where the continent has opportunities.” Chiumya represented the AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Albert Muchanga.

“The African Industry Observatory and Africa Industrialization Index will help consolidate cross-institutional cooperation, strengthen each institution’s influence on policy dialogue to accelerate industrial development, and enhance knowledge of industrial development dynamics,” said Victor Djemba , Head of UNIDO’s Africa Department.

The Extraordinary African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification and the Extraordinary African Union Session on the African Continental Free Trade Area are currently being held in Niamey, Niger until November 25, 2022. The theme of the summit is: Industrialization of Africa: Renewed commitment to inclusive and sustainable industrialization and economic diversification.

Download the report in English ( or French (

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

media contact:
Olufemi Terry
communication and external relations
E-mail: [email protected]

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is Africa’s leading development finance institution. It consists of three different entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). Locally in 44 African countries with a field office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information:

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