Construction workers in Africa

Mapping industrialisation in Africa

Case study Firms

For over a decade, many African countries have enjoyed high levels of sustained growth, with industrial output doubling in several cases, but little research has focused on the drivers of that growth and industrialisation. Our series of ‘enterprise maps’ offers the first comprehensive analysis of the industrial sectors in five countries -- Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, and Mozambique.

What is the challenge?

For over a decade, many sub-Saharan African countries including Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, and Mozambique have enjoyed high levels of sustained growth. This growth has been broadly based across different sectors of the economy, with industrial output doubling within a decade in several cases.

However, little research has focused on the basis of this growth or how higher levels of industrial capabilities can be attained in order to sustain it.

Addressing the problem

The Enterprise Map series, spearheaded by IGC researcher Prof. John Sutton, offers the first systematic and comprehensive account of the industrial sectors of these five countries, analysing the history, challenges, and current capabilities of firms in each sector.

The series is aimed at both companies considering investments in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as policymakers in these countries seeking to foster industrial development.

Five volumes of the Enterprise Maps were published and made publicly available to both policymakers and potential investors.

The publications highlight the importance of an active and broad manufacturing sector, which in turn requires improving the effectiveness of multinational manufacturers and strengthening national investment agencies.

Impact on policy

The Enterprise Maps have opened several doors for the IGC to engage with specific government actors and firms to implement reforms to investment agencies.

  • Ethiopia: The launch of the Ethiopia Enterprise Map in 2011 led to IGC’s continued collaboration with the Ethiopian Investment Agency, which has scaled up and embedded recommendations for reform from Prof. Sutton. See our impact case on the Ethiopia Investment Commission (EIC).
  • Tanzania: Following the launch of the Tanzania Enterprise Map in 2012, engagement with the Tanzanian Investment Commission has focused on shifting the organisational culture towards relationship building for active engagement with companies. This has involved putting in place similar processes as those undertaken by the EIC.
  • Ghana: The oil and gas giant Tullow Oil PLC, which has prioritised developing local content and a sustainable supply base where they operate, have used the maps to identify Ghanaian companies that they can work with and integrate into their local supply chains
  • Globally, the IGC has used the findings of this project as part of a wider push on industrialisation in Africa, at events with the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank.