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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.

Impact stories

  • UNIDO gives industrial development in Ethiopia a helping hand
    UNIDO gives industrial development in Ethiopia a helping hand

    How UNIDO is using its Programme for Country Partnership approach to take industry and manufacturing in Ethiopia to the next level.

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  • A new age of startups: how Tunisia’s millennial entrepreneurs are boosting the economy
    A new age of startups: how Tunisia’s millennial entrepreneurs are boosting the economy

    The will of the young people of Tunisia to find solutions and innovate is clear. UNIDO’s Mashrou3i is empowering this generation to overcome the education and employment gap.

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  • After years of uncertainty, this changes everything
    After years of uncertainty, this changes everything

    In Morocco, unemployment is high among the 18-35 years old, and yet demand for skilled workers is strong. Meet Azzeddine, a specialized technician in heavy machinery maintenance and father of two, who decided to attend a USAID-funded programme to sharpen his skills and give a new push to his career – as well as provide for his daughters.

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  • Madagascar - design for development
    Madagascar - design for development

    When survival is a must and the day-to-day is consumed by addressing basic needs, little space or time is left for artistic development. However, creative industries have proved to be an effective agent of change and a sustainable instrument to reduce poverty.

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  • Empowering young women through renewable energy training
    Empowering young women through renewable energy training

    In the Republic of Gambia, where only 13% of the rural population has access to electricity, Fandema -a women’s development centre– is emerging as a beacon of hope.

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  • A new beginning after the war, reintegration for Liberian returnees
    A new beginning after the war, reintegration for Liberian returnees

    “I believe it was the right choice to come back home. I feel good about coming home. The opportunities I have now would never have been available in a foreign country as a refugee.”

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  • Tanzania turns the renewable lights on
    Tanzania turns the renewable lights on

    “With such a high demand for clean and reliable energy, we thought it was important for Tanzania to be able to manufacture small hydro turbines locally and start developing a national industry based on renewable energy technologies,” said Jossy Thomas, UNIDO Industrial Development Officer.

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  • Virtual reality training in Southern Africa
    Virtual reality training in Southern Africa

    The new technology fills a gap that many governments and training institutions in Africa are struggling to bridge: the need for more skilled workers. With an ageing workforce and lack of trained youth joining the job market, the vocational skills shortage is becoming a big problem. Virtual reality training can offer opportunities in a number of fields, giving people access to knowledge which can be used to improve their lives.

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  • Giving Cabo Verde’s young entrepreneurs a head start
    Giving Cabo Verde’s young entrepreneurs a head start

    The Entrepreneurship Curriculum Programme combines theory and practice, emphasizing a hands-on approach to learning activities such as marketing a product in a school community; learning from local entrepreneurs through school visits; and preparing business venture plans.

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  • Setting up a quality infrastructure system in Central Africa
    Setting up a quality infrastructure system in Central Africa

    UNIDO worked together with the European Union in Central Africa to improve the region’s products quality in view of boosting access to international markets. The Organization supported testing and calibration laboratories, enterprises, food safety consultants and consumers’ associations, and collaborated with seven governments to develop national quality infrastructures and strengthen the overall regional quality system.

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  • Senegal's new industrial park open for business
    Senegal's new industrial park open for business

    Forty kilometers (24 miles) from the capital, Dakar, a new industrial park has opened. Seven companies, from China, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Tunisia and one from Senegal itself, have already set up operations in the Diamniadio park, producing garments, PVC-pipes, packaging, magnetic e-cards and electric bicycles.

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  • Quality test: the inspiring journey of Côte d’Ivoire’s testing laboratories
    Quality test: the inspiring journey of Côte d’Ivoire’s testing laboratories

    Having a product tested through internationally-recognized accredited laboratories adds value as it ensures quality – a key ingredient for gaining consumers’ trust, increasing business competitiveness and integrating new markets. This is true for all businesses in all countries.

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