The Paradox of Plenty: Industrialization as a Solution for Africa’s Problems

By Soko Directory Team / March 14, 2017


We see in industrialization the central problem of building in our time. If we succeed in carrying out industrialization, the social, economic, technical and also artistic problems will be readily solved. But this isn’t a task that can be accomplished in a twinkle of an eye; Africa has been lagging behind when it comes to industrialization which has left many jobless and in dire poverty. African countries need to promote industrial development to spur economic progress and reduce poverty. There are various factors that hold back industrialization in Africa;

The resource curse

Africa has valuable and plentiful supply of resources. This can also be termed the paradox of the plenty because African countries that seem to have enormous amount of wealth tend to have less economic growth and lower standards of living than those that have less wealth. In such countries the government has no incentive to be accountable to its citizens. This is because the government doesn’t need to tax citizens in order to garner funds and therefore has no stake in creating infrastructure in order to improve the standard of living for its people. The poorest African states are those engaged in or just emerging from civil wars. These include the Somalia, Sudan, Darfur, Rwanda, Congo, Sierra Leone, and Burundi. In recent times, the poorest region has been the Horn of Africa, Nigeria, and Democratic Republic of Congo. This has directly affected general industrialization in Africa.

the-paradox-of-plenty

Dominance of conflict and civil war in African countries has led to destruction of resources and has contributed to underdevelopment in Africa. Africa has seen dozens of wars, both civil and international. This has contributed to poverty because states have spent their scarce resources on military equipment and supplies. Development has suffered, since warfare has scared off foreign investors, destroyed infrastructure. Wars cost a lot of money and average African civil wars last 10 years and cost approximately 64 billion dollar, this wars are mostly politically inclined in most African countries. This is witnessed in countries like Somalia, Nigeria, and Southern Sudan who are in complex situations involving a myriad of parties. Civil wars drag back African countries from achieving industrialization. 

Africa’s landlocked countries pay more than double the rate of other countries in Asia for transport of goods in Africa. Generally, transportation costs in Africa are highest when it compared to any region in the world. Landlocked countries have to pay in transportation costs of up to 75% of their export goods. More than 20% of African exports reach the US by air. It’s estimated that air transport costs account to 50% of the value of the exports. Internally, air transport costs across Africa are up to four times the cost of getting the same over Atlantic Ocean. This negatively impacts the African economy because of the fear of spending more on exports hence African countries opt for selling their goods within their nations which doesn’t yield compared to exports.

war-in-africa

Poor and inadequate infrastructure (roads, ports, airports), both hard and soft infrastructure are among the major factors that hinder industrialization in Africa. Power is Africa’s biggest infrastructure weak point, with as many as 30 countries facing regular power outages this has led to high energy costs combined with other infrastructure deficits, such as rail and road problems, have lowered productivity rates. According to the World Bank, the continent’s infrastructure deficit is considered one of the most significant barriers to sustaining Africa’s growth. It is estimated that the continent will need to invest nearly $93 billion per year over the next decade to bridge the deficit.

The most damaging are the famines that have regularly hit the continent, especially the Horn of Africa. These have been caused by disruptions due to warfare, years of drought, and plagues of locusts. Africa continues to suffer from low levels of agricultural productivity and is constantly bedeviled by famines. A large part of the continent’s inability to feed itself and stimulate rural entrepreneurship can be explained by poor infrastructure (transportation, energy, irrigation, and telecommunication). African farmers without adequate road networks are condemned to grow not what they can eat, but what they can carry on their heads and eat quickly before pests destroy it. As a result, nearly half of the hungry people in Africa are farmers. This has had a great negative impact on the industrialization in Africa.

problems-faced-by-african-farmers

These factors and many others not forgetting insecurity, terrorism, diseases such as HIV/AIDS, drought, floods, poor technology and poor education systems have had an impact in underdevelopment in Africa have substantially held back industrialization in Africa.

Related: Volkswagen Launches its Manufacturing Company in Kenya


Written by Amina Martha.

 



About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system. Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

View other posts by Soko Directory Team



Other Related Articles








SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE

ARCHIVES

2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (221)
  • March 2018 (279)
  • April 2018 (226)
  • May 2018 (163)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (195)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (206)
  • July 2017 (190)
  • August 2017 (196)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (236)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (167)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (190)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (246)
  • June 2016 (183)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (250)
  • September 2016 (234)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (244)
  • December 2016 (154)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (166)
  • April 2015 (109)
  • May 2015 (117)
  • June 2015 (121)
  • July 2015 (150)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (189)
  • October 2015 (171)
  • November 2015 (174)
  • December 2015 (208)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950