Exporting Africa: Technology, Trade, and Industrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa

By Samuel M. Wangwe | Go to book overview

6

Conclusions and policy implications

BUILDING CORE CAPABILITIES: TOWARDS COMPETITIVENESS

In the context of new technologies and the rapidly changing world market conditions, the process of restructuring for export orientation poses a challenge to Africa. Constraints are bound to arise but opportunities could also emerge for these economies as they set out to restructure and develop their industrial sectors towards export orientation.

One major consideration which will influence the way the industrialization problem is conceptualized relates to the changing character of innovations and their role in international trade and competitiveness. Industrialization, for the less industrialized countries in Africa, will have to take place under conditions of accelerating technical change and the pervasive application of new technologies. The evidence presented in this book supports the Schumpeterian conceptualization of technological change, which emphasizes learning and the accumulation of technological capabilities. This is bound to have considerable implications for the conceptualization of the industrialization problem in Africa.

The findings of this study support the thrust of recent trade and growth models which have focused more explicitly on the micro-foundations of innovation by addressing firm-level decisions to invest in product or process innovations. The case studies have shown that ceaseless search for improvements in technology (especially product quality and cost-lowering process innovations) has been most instrumental in improving productivity. Productivity growth, in turn, was a most important factor enabling exporting firms to succeed in the changing technological and market conditions. Exporting firms

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Exporting Africa: Technology, Trade, and Industrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables vii
  • Acknowledgements xii
  • Part I - Exporting Africa: an Analysis 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Trade Theory 16
  • 3 - Some Conceptual Issues and Methodology of the Study 35
  • 4 - The Changing World Economy 52
  • 5 - Main Findings of the Study 82
  • 6 - Conclusions and Policy Implications 117
  • Notes to Part I 122
  • Bibliography 131
  • Part II - Country Studies 141
  • 7 - Zimbabwe 143
  • 8 - Tanzania 199
  • Notes 243
  • 9 - Nigeria 246
  • Notes 295
  • 10 - Kenya 296
  • 11 - The Ivory Coast 344
  • 12 - Mauritius 383
  • Appendix 407
  • Index 413
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