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Structural transformation in Africa: New technologies, resurgent entrepreneurship and the revival of manufacturing

Wim Naudé

No 2018-045, MERIT Working Papers from United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT)

Abstract: In this paper I argue that manufacturing is still important for structural transformation in Africa. Despite failing to industrialize in the past, there may be a new window of opportunity. This is due to the convergence of new technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and a resurgence of start-up entrepreneurship. In this light I (i) show why manufacturing is vital for African economies, (ii) critically analyze the nature and impact, both in terms of opportunities and risks, of the new technologies associated with the 4IR for Africa; (iii) describe the resurgence of tech start-up entrepreneurship in Africa and (iv) call for policy support in the form of complimentary investments and regulations to allow entrepreneurs to utilize opportunities and to minimize threats. The paper show that a new narrative for African structural transformation is possible.

Keywords: Technology; industry 4.0; entrepreneurship; development; Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O33 O14 O55 L52 L26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-11-30
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-ent, nep-ino, nep-knm and nep-sbm
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