February 4, 2023

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Industrial development: Morocco leads Africa

Morocco’s strategic choices in terms of industrial development have paid off. According to the Industrialization in Africa Index established by the ADB, the Kingdom is now second in the ADB ranking of the best performing countries in this regard.

Morocco is one of the strongest manufacturing economies in Africa. This emerges from a study conducted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) on key elements of industrialization policy.

The Kingdom records steady progress for all dimensions of the “Industrialization Index in Africa” ​​(IIA) established by the AfDB, based on a complete set of available, relevant and comparable data, and based on which a classification is proposed. In three criteria namely efficiency, direct determinants and indirect determinants.

According to the AfDB, between 2015 and 2018, the sector increased its share of Africa’s gross manufacturing value from 1.7% to 7.6% as a result of a strategy to prioritize industrial growth, particularly in the automotive sector.

At the same time, the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the continent’s weak participation in global value chains, with the exception of some countries, such as South Africa and Morocco, which have been affected by the closure of part of their supply chains.

Other characteristics of this performance are that Morocco exports electrical distribution equipment, motor vehicles, fertilizers and women’s clothing to global markets such as Europe, the United States and Brazil. Strong export performance has allowed the country to become the continent’s second largest exporter of manufactured goods, after South Africa.

Morocco now accounts for 21.2% of Africa’s manufactured goods exports, clearly ahead of its direct competitors such as Tunisia and Egypt. Note that the top 5 on a continental scale are occupied by South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Mauritius.

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In particular, the Kingdom tops the rankings of North African countries ahead of Tunisia and Egypt for having the most sophisticated manufacturing equipment. AfDB notes that North Africa is the best performing sub-region on this index.

Three of its six countries are among the top 10 performers in Africa with an average score of 0.7. It should be noted that Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia obtain good results for each sub-component of the IIA. These good results reflect a long tradition of sustained efforts to develop key industries, build strong infrastructure and strengthen industrial policy, particularly in the last decade.

The establishment explained that it was characterized by a succession of governments that participated in developing new policy instruments to support growing industries and reduce import dependence. Major industries in the region include mineral and chemical processing industries, fertilizer manufacturing, automotive, electrical components and textile industries.

Libya and Algeria still have some way to go to achieve their non-hydrocarbon diversification goal. The countries concerned take advantage of their immediate proximity to the European Union, but it should be noted that they also benefit from strengthening links with the rest of the African continent, especially when developing North-South corridors.

Khadim Mbe / ECO Inspirations