By Professor David Wield
Reporting from the L2C Learning to Compete conference, 'Industrial Development and Policy in Africa' in Helsinki
Many African economies have been growing quickly in the last decade and are far from the ‘basket cases’ portrayed in many media and, sadly, research reports. The countries I know best, Tanzania and Mozambique, have more than doubled their economic activity in the last ten years – the differences are very tangible in trade and investment data.
But industrial development has been uneven and quite chaotic. Sometimes being on the edge of chaos is good – entrepreneurs can take advantage of opportunities to build new ventures – but chaos can be hard for industrial development, and stability is important for those who take risks.