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Working Paper 40 - Industrial Restructuring in Africa During the1990s: Outcomes and Prospects


Since the advent of political independence, many governments in Africa have looked to the manufacturing sector as the main vehicle of structural transformation and reduction of dependence on primary exports. However, it is now generally accepted that “misguided attempts to promote industrialisation without regard to comparative advantage or stage of development have led to inefficient use of resources in many countries” (World Bank, 1992:122). During the 1970s, almost one-third of African countries had negative average annual rates of manufacturing output growth and, in another quarter, these growth rates stagnated at below 2.5 percent.

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