Trade and Industrial Development in Africa: Rethinking Strategy and Policy. Theresa Moyo. Dakar, CODESRIA, 2014, 404p., ISBN: 978-2-86978-538-0Number of visits: 2442
The book is a product of the Guy Mhone conference on ‘Rethinking Trade and
Development in Africa’.
This book revisits the perennial challenge that scholars, economists, and politicians have been grappling with since the 1960s. Development, in this book, has been defined in a context that projects it as a multidimensional and complex process which seeks to enhance the human, social, economic and cultural welfare of the people. This book calls for a rethinking of trade and industry for Africa’s development. It uses data drawn from national development plans and strategies, and trade and industry issues have been prioritized at the continental level, in key policy documents. On the whole Africa’s industry and trade performance have been poor in spite of national, regional, and continental plans. The contributors to this volume propose some alternative strategies and policies which are necessary for trade and industry to grow and to contribute to the wellbeing of Africa’s people. It calls for a developmental trade and industry policy which, fundamentally, must be people-centred. African states should invest time, energy and resources to develop policies which will take into consideration African realities.The different contributors are aware that Africa has experienced strong economic growth in the recent past but this growth has largely been due to a strong demand for Africa’s primary commodity exports. It has also been a result of increases in productivity and domestic investment and remittances from Africans living in the Diaspora. It is important to note that despite this unprecedented growth performance, the impact of trade and industry on development has been limited. The book arguesthat a structural transformation of Africa’s economies is inevitable if Africa is to achieve the shift from the dominant paradigm of production and export of primary goods. The various contributors to this book agree that there is need to rethink policy and strategy in order to achieve industrial development in Africa. There is no unique solution or answer that can fit all situations as African countries are not the same. While Africa can draw lessons from other regions which have successfully industrialized, this book argues that policies and strategies will have to be adapted to country-specific situations and circumstances.
Theresa Moyo is Acting Director of the Turfloop Graduate School of Leadership, University of Limpopo, South Africa, where she is also a Senior Lecturer on the Master of Development Programme. She holds a PhD in Economics from Dalhousie University, Canada. Earlier, she was a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Zimbabwe. She also has experience in microfinance and was the Executive Director of the Southern Africa Microfinance Capacity Building Facility (SAMCAF), Harare, Zimbabwe. Her research interests include local economic development, trade and regional development, and development finance.