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A shoe factory in the Eastern Industrial Zone of Ethiopia. Photo by UNIDO, via Flickr

Technology or Labor Costs? Why Has Africa Missed Out on a Manufacturing Takeoff? And Is Manufacturing Still a Viable Path to Development?

Debates on Sub-Saharan Africa’s development path and prospects often focus on two questions. Looking back, why have countries not experienced the structural transformation towards labor-intensive manufactures that has played such an important a role in the rapid development of Asian countries? And, looking forward, can poor countries still jump onto the escalator of manufactured exports development?

COVID vaccines on a table

A Moral Failure in Pandemic Response

As the virus spread and shut down life as we know it, global response became increasingly tainted by provincialism. From seizing masks and medical supplies en route to other countries to preventing vaccine exports, the world’s richest countries turned inward and neglected the global response effort. It is not too late to correct what has been an egregious failure in leadership.

A close up of medical supplies, including syringes, at a hospital in Sri Lanka

Expanding Health Product Manufacturing in Africa: Ideas for Development Finance Institutions, Procurers, and Policymakers

In October 2020, the Center for Global Development—in partnership with African Union Development Agency-NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD), UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the African Leaders Malaria Alliance—hosted a high-level roundtable on regional health product manufacturing in Africa. This blog is based on the authors’ reflections of the roundtable.

A cityscape of Accra, Ghana

Is Africa Wasting the Pandemic-Induced Economic Crisis?

In many African countries, the economic response to the crisis so far appears to have been broadly less consistent than the health response. For mitigation measures to be stronger and more effective, and for sustained recovery to take place, governments, central banks, and regional institutions will need to make tough policy choices, promote coordinated and collaborative policy implementation, and embrace bold and innovative reforms.

A map of Africa inside EU stars

The EU Migration Pact: Building a True Partnership with Africa

The current state of migration cooperation between Africa and Europe is far from this ideal. True partnerships should focus on promoting economic opportunity in countries of origin and expanding legal pathways, both from Africa to Europe and within the continent. Currently, African governments are left responding to Europe’s short-term thinking without collaboration towards long-term mutual gain—a scenario that undermines the potential for joint initiatives that can benefit both Africa and the EU.

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