Economic Report on Africa 2013

Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation
Economic Report on Africa 2013 - Cover Image

African countries have a real opportunity to capitalize on their resource endowments and high international commodity prices, as well as on opportunities from changes in the global economy to promote economic transformation through commodity-based industrialization and to address poverty, inequality and unemployment. If grasped, these opportunities will help Africa promote competitiveness, reduce its dependence on primary commodity exports and associated vulnerability to shocks and emerge as a new global growth pole.

This report argues that the question is not whether Africa can industrialize by ignoring its commodities, but rather how it can use them to add value, new services and tech nological capabilities—although this may not apply to all African countries and should not be the only way African resource-rich countries industrialize. Making the most of Africa’s commodities requires appropriate development planning frameworks and effective industrial policies that are evidence based and take into account what influences linkage breadth and depth, as well as the structural and country-specific linkage drivers.