Zimbabwe was number 32 on the African Development Bank (AfDB) 2022 industrialization index a one-step improvement.
The country was hit by Covid-19, labour emigration and currency issues in the past ten years and this has led the country to lose positions from 26 in 2010 to 32 in 2022.
Analyst Namatai Maeresera said, “The country has been stagnant and starting to move now, so we hope to see beneficiation of minerals starting to happen in order to increase the value of our industry. We also need to move into the space of primary production, thus getting raw materials and increasing employment.”
Industrialization is central to Africa’s development prospects, with its young labour force, abundant natural resources and fast-growing internal markets. Africa has the potential to become the next global frontier for industrial development.
Africa’s development strategies, from the Sustainable Development Goals to Agenda 2063 and the African Union’s 2011 Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa, all clearly identify industrial development as a foundation for inclusive growth, the creation of decent jobs and many other development goals.
Industrialization is also a strategic priority for the African Development Bank (AfDB) under its Ten-Year Strategy (2013–2022), and one of the High 5s priorities. Under its Industrialize Africa strategy, the bank said it is committed to helping African countries to accelerate their industrialization and unlock their economic potential.
Commenting on the goals and initiatives, economist Prof Tony Hawkins said, “Yet progress remains disappointingly slow. Africa’s share of global manufacturing output has dwindled over recent decades, to below two percent of global manufacturing output. Too many African economies remain dependent on unimproved commodities, leaving them vulnerable to fluctuating global demand.”
Overall, South Africa is the closest economy to the frontier with an industrial development score of 0.8404 in 2021. The country’s performance has however been shrinking in the last decade, from 0.8957 in 2010, its highest score in the 2010-2021 period.
It now stands 0.1596 points away from the frontier mark of 1, which depicts that while the country stands as the top-ranked economy, it could still improve its performance.
Morocco (0.8327), Egypt (0.7877), Tunisia (0.7714), Mauritius (0.6685), and Eswatini (0.6423) round out the top 6 performers. The ranking of this top 6 remains unchanged over the coverage period 2010–2021, with South Africa retaining the first rank, except in 2015, 2016 and 2018, when Congo (2015 and 2016) and Namibia (2018) temporarily took the 6th position to Eswatini – Harare