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Since 2000, the continent of Africa has recorded impressive rates of economic growth. This remarkable performance has been largely driven by the prolonged commodity boom and development assistance. While the continent shows great diversity in the socio-economic trajectories of its countries, growth rates have generally masked an underlying lack of structural transformation, which is needed to achieve socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable development.

Wherever industrialization has occurred, it has been a reliable force in steering economic diversification, and has contributed to developing, strengthening and upholding the framework conditions for competitive economic growth and development.

On 25 July 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/70/293, proclaiming 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III). UNIDO was tasked with leading the implementation of the Decade, in collaboration with a range of partners.

Vision

The vision for the implementation of IDDA III is to firmly anchor Africa on a path towards inclusive and sustainable industrial development. The achievement of this vision requires the transformation of African countries into locations of competitive industrial production. The necessary enabling framework conditions for this industrial transformation include the strengthening of key elements of industrial productive capacity, such as infrastructure, innovation and technology transfer, industrial financing, industrial knowledge and skills, and the support from public and private sector institutions that regulate and advocate industrial development. Various development interventions and broad - based partnerships are required to improve the enabling framework, as well as to encourage productive industrial investment ventures in Africa.

Guiding principles

Four guiding principles are deemed critical to ensuring the successful implementation of IDDA III:

(a) Government ownership and leadership of the initiative. The success of IDDA III depends on a clear vision, commitment, and resolve by African governments.

(b) A strengthened enabling business environment. A robust framework for industrialization needs to be developed, or enhanced. Such a framework should include the appropriate policies, infrastructure, knowledge and skills, financing, technologies and market institutions.

(c) Sectors with high potential for growth, and which can therefore meaningfully contribute to the reduction of poverty, must be prioritized.

(d) Strong partnerships for financial and non-financial resource mobilization at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels need to be built.

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Impact stories

  • African policymakers expect severe COVID-19 impact on industry - UNIDO survey
    African policymakers expect severe COVID-19 impact on industry - UNIDO survey

    Africa has so far been spared the worst health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite a lag in the arrival of the virus on the continent and a large informal sector, policymakers say the impact on industry will be severe. More help is needed at international level to develop policies to prepare industry for the post-COVID-19 economic environment. 

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  • Can women fast-track South Africa’s energy transition?
    Can women fast-track South Africa’s energy transition?

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  • How solar-powered tablets are educating rural communities about COVID-19 in Mozambique
    How solar-powered tablets are educating rural communities about COVID-19 in Mozambique

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  • How Tunisia is embracing digital technology
    How Tunisia is embracing digital technology

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  • Morocco partnership projects adapt to COVID-19 lockdown
    Morocco partnership projects adapt to COVID-19 lockdown

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  • A post-COVID-19 São Tomé and Príncipe: a sustainable future with renewable energy and energy efficiency
    A post-COVID-19 São Tomé and Príncipe: a sustainable future with renewable energy and energy efficiency

    UNIDO, with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), has been working in partnership with the country’s Ministry of Public Works, Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Environment (MOPIRNA) to help the small island country to implement a project to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in the electricity sector, and build resilience fact to climate shocks and COVID-19 emergency.

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  • Forging ahead in spite of COVID-19: UNIDO biogas project in South Africa
    Forging ahead in spite of COVID-19: UNIDO biogas project in South Africa

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  • Tunisia's entrepreneurs swing into action against COVID-19
    Tunisia's entrepreneurs swing into action against COVID-19

    Pictures: Mashrou3i

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  • Using the “internet of things” to improve geothermal energy production in Africa
    Using the “internet of things” to improve geothermal energy production in Africa

    Image: Yokogawa Electric Corporation

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  • Smallholder farmers in Mozambique embrace solar energy
    Smallholder farmers in Mozambique embrace solar energy

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UNIDO PROJECTS IN AFRICA

UNIDO's Open Data Platform is a transparency initiative, which provides details on all ongoing programmes and projects.

Learn more about UNIDO Projects in Africa