Industrial Development and ICT in Africa: Opportunities, Challenges and Way Forward

By Gamal Ibrahim, Witness Simbanegavi, Anita Prakash, William Davis, Wilson Wasike, and Ashraf Patel


This policy brief explores how African countries can leverage digitalization and ICTs to further their goal of industrialization. With increasing digitization of global manufacturing, there is a risk that opportunities for African countries to industrialize will erode. The world economy is already undergoing a trend where historically labor-intensive production is being “reshored” to “smart” factories in developed and emerging economies. This policy brief explores strategies for enhancing African economies’ manufacturing capabilities, especially in the traditional labor-intensive sectors through leveraging Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).