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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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