altHenri Atangana Ondoa is the second lecturer from Vi Cameroonian member, the University of Yaounde II, to receive a fellowship from the Virtual Institute.

With the support of his mentor, Rolf Traeger, of UNCTAD's Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes, Atangana analyzed factors affecting industrialization in Africa, a key issue for the development of African countries, particularly those benefiting from an abundance of natural resources.

Based on data for the period of 1970-2009, and supported by econometric analysis, Atangana's work highlights a negative correlation between natural resources wealth and the contribution of manufacturing industries to a country's gross domestic product.

In addition, "(I)nternational trade is both an opportunity and a threat to African industry," he said. "This is an opportunity because some economies in Africa, rich in natural resources, can sell their mining and oil products to developed countries, and then import industrial production equipment from them. But it is also a serious threat because the manufacturing industries are less competitive in Africa, and face competition from Asian products."

During the presentation of the results of his research, he emphasized the importance of establishing mechanisms to channel the benefits from extractive industries into the manufacturing sector.
"I could not have obtained these results without the data and publications available at UNCTAD," Atangana said. "There is a big difference between my original idea and the actual results."