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Economic Report on Africa 2013-Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation

Report by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 2013

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The report examines the need for Africa to industrialize, accelerate and sustain growth, as well as create jobs for its youth, and achieve economic transformation. This report also underscores the need for African countries to develop appropriate local policies, boost infrastructure, develop human skills and technological capabilities, and foster regional integration and intra-African trade. This report is based on the studies of nine African countries, which have helped generate evidence-based policy recommendations.

Economic Commission for Africa African Union


2013


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Economic Commission for Africa African Union


ECONOMIC REPORT ON AFRICA


2013


Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities:
Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation






ECONOMIC REPORT ON AFRICA


2013


Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities:
Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation




Ordering information
To order copies of Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and
Economic Transformation by the Economic Commission for Africa, please contact:


Publications:
Economic Commission for Africa
P.O. Box 3001
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


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E-mail: ecainfo@uneca.org
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© United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 2013
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


All rights reserved
First printing March 2013


Sales No.: E.13.II.K.1
ISBN-13: 978-92-1-125119-7
eISBN: 978-92-1-056076-4


Material in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted. Acknowledgement is requested,
together with a copy of the publication.


Cover design: Carolina Rodriguez




Table of Contents


Foreword


Executive Summary


1. Economic and Social Developments in Africa and Medium-term Prospects


2. Trade, Financing and Employment imperatives for Africa’s Transformation


3. State of Value Addition and Industrial Policy in Africa


4. Making the Most of Linkages in Soft (Food) Commodities


5. Making the Most of Linkages in Industrial Commodities


6. Making the Most of Policy Linkages in Commodities


A Statistical Note


Acronyms


Acknowledgements


4


6


16


42


70


128


178


230


252


253


256




Economic Report on Africa 2013


4


Foreword


Africa is at a critical juncture in its development
trajectory. The global economic and geopolitical
changes of the last two decades have shifted the
global traditional power structures and witnessed
the emergence of new powers from the South. This
shift, driven largely by a revolution in information
and communications technology, has led to
substantial increases in cross-border capital flows
and trade in intermediate goods, thus reflecting
the rising importance of value chains. Changes in
demography, rapid urbanization and a prolonged
commodity-price boom have also made huge
global changes, all of which present unprecedented
opportunities for Africa to overcome its legacies
and embark on a bold agenda that will see the
continent emerge as a global economic power.


Given its remarkable growth since 2000, the
continent has been hailed as the next frontier for
opportunity and a potential global growth pole.
Political conflicts have declined, economic growth
is robust and economic management, governance
and political stability have improved. All have
contributed to a marked shift in global perception
of the continent, from pessimism to enormous
potential, with both traditional and new economic
powers clamouring to offer their partnership.


Yet recent economic performance has not
generated enough economic diversification, job
growth or social development to create wealth
and lift millions of Africans out of poverty. A key
challenge, therefore, is how Africa can pursue
more effective policies to accelerate and sustain
high growth and make that growth more inclusive
and equitable. African countries must use this
global interest as springboard to achieving broad
structural transformation based on the needs and
priorities of Africans.


It is precisely because of these challenges that
the theme of this year’s Economic Report on
Africa 2013 is on “Making the most of Africa’s
commodities: industrializing for growth, jobs and
economic transformation”. This theme is important
because commodity-based industrialization can
provide an engine of growth for the continent,
reducing its marginalization in the global economy
and enhancing its resilience to shocks. African
countries have a real opportunity, individually and
collectively, to promote economic transformation
and to address poverty, inequality and youth
unemployment. They can capitalize on their
resource endowments and high international
commodity prices as well as changes in how global
production processes are organized.


This report argues that the deindustrialization
of many African economies over the last
three decades, resulting in their increasing
marginalization in the global economy, was mainly
the result of inadequate policies and offers a
policy framework for these countries to trigger
resource-based industrialization. Key among the
components of this framework is the need to
design and implement effective development plans
and industrial strategies to address constraints
and tap opportunities for African countries to


African countries have a real
opportunity, individually and
collectively, to promote economic
transformation and to address poverty,
inequality and youth unemployment.
They can capitalize on their resource
endowments and high international
commodity prices as well as changes
in how global production processes
are organized.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


5


engage in value addition and commodity-based
industrialization. For industrial policy to be
effective there is a need for policy space. Many
African countries saw notable improvements in
policy space especially before the recent global
financial crises thanks to prudent macroeconomic
management. Successful industrial policy would
assist African countries strengthen and sustain
their policy space through higher and sustainable
growth rates and tax revenue.


This report also underscores the need for African
countries to develop appropriate local content
policies, boost infrastructure, human skills and
technological capabilities, and foster regional
integration and intra-African trade. In this regard, the
implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area
(CFTA) and the regional and continental priorities of
the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa’s
(AIDA) Action Plan, for example, will be crucial.


This report is based on nine studies of African
countries, which have helped to generate
evidence-based policy recommendations. The
studies show that African countries are adding
value to their commodities and developing
local backward and forward linkages to the
soft, hard and energy commodity sectors. But
the depth of linkages varies among countries
and value addition remains generally limited,
mainly because of country- or industry-specific
constraints that require strategic and systematic
industrial policies.


The need for Africa to industrialize to accelerate
and sustain growth, create jobs for millions of
its youth and achieve economic transformation
makes this report timely. It is our belief that this
report generates the kind of knowledge needed
for the discourse on policy choices for Africa’s
transformative development.


Carlos Lopes
United Nations Under-Secretary-General


and Executive Secretary of UNECA


Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma
Chairperson


Africa Union Commission




Economic Report on Africa 2013


6


AfricA’s imperAtive tO industriAlize
in tOdAy’s glObAl cOntext


The global economy has, since the turn of the century, seen vast shifts in production and trade patterns alongside the emergence of
new growth poles in the South. The rapid rise of
economic powers such as China, India and Brazil,
the continuing financial and economic problems
of industrialized countries, and ways of doing
business revolutionized by advances in technology
have taken the world into a new phase of
globalization. This evolving order presents Africa
with challenges as well as opportunities which, if
met by effective policies, could lead to substantial
socio-economic and political transformation,
propelling the continent as a new pole of global
growth.


Following two decades of near stagnation, Africa’s
growth performance has improved hugely since
the start of the 21st century. Since 2000 the
continent has seen a prolonged commodity
boom and sustained growth trend. And although
growth slowed from an average of 5.6 per cent in
2002–2008 to 2.2 per cent in 2009—hit by the
global financial crisis and steep food and fuel price
rises—Africa quickly recovered with growth of 4.6
per cent in 2010. The continent’s growth slipped
again in 2011 owing to political transition in North
Africa, but rebounded strongly once more to 5.0
per cent in 2012, despite the global slowdown and
uncertainty.


This remarkable performance—although largely
commodity driven—is underpinned by a variety of
factors, such as strengthening domestic demand
associated with rising incomes and urbanization,
increasing public spending (especially on
infrastructure), bumper harvests in some regions
(due to favourable weather), tightening trade and


investment ties with emerging economies (linked
to their investment in Africa’s natural resource and
extractive industries) and post-conflict economic
recovery in several countries. Africa’s medium-
term growth prospects remain strong, too, at for
example 4.8 per cent in 2013 and 5.1 per cent in
2014.


Yet this impressive growth story has not translated
into economic diversification, commensurate
jobs or faster social development: most African
economies still depend heavily on commodity
production and exports, with too little value addition
and few forward and backward linkages to other
sectors of the economy. Indeed, the pattern of
social development in Africa has been mixed
over recent years: changes for the better are still
recorded in most areas (especially education, child
and maternal mortality rates, and gender equality),
but the pace is too slow for African countries to
achieve their social development goals, especially
some of the Millennium Development Goals by the
end date of 2015.


The limited impact of commodity-driven growth
on employment and social development has been
aggravated by liberalizing reforms and globalization
that, in the absence of serious government policies
to promote economies’ productive capacities and
ability to compete in international markets, have left
a legacy of inappropriate incentives and institutions
that threaten economic and political stability as
well as social cohesion. Major deficits in state
and institutional capacities, in physical and policy
infrastructure, as well as an inability to mitigate
impacts of external shocks have contributed to
the continent’s “transformation challenge”. African
countries must therefore address the reasons why
stronger growth and trade have not stimulated
economic diversification, job creation and socio-
economic development.


Executive Summary




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


7


The key challenge for African countries today
is how to design and implement effective policies
to promote industrialization and economic
transformation. Despite some gains in manufacturing
over the last decade, the continent is yet to reverse
the de-industrialization that has defined its structural
change in recent decades: in 1980–2010, its share
of manufacturing in aggregate output declined from
more than12 per cent to around 11 per cent, but
remained at more than 31 per cent in East Asia,
where labour-intensive industries induced high and
sustained growth and helped lift hundreds of millions
of citizens out of poverty.


Africa has also lagged behind East Asia on
other measures. That region has seen not only
surging per capita income but also a soaring
share of global exports and income over the last
four decades (table 1). Industrial policies were
particularly successful in East Asia because of
committed and visionary political leadership and
institutions that designed and enforced strict
performance criteria for industries that received
subsidies and trade protection, supported by
a capable bureaucracy largely insulated from
political capture.


tAble 1: As AfricA de-industriAlized, eAst AsiA wAs firing On All cylinders


1970 1980 1990 2000 2010


Africa


Nominal GDP per capita (US$) 246 900 780 740 1,701


Share in world output (%) 2.75 3.65 2.22 1.85 2.73


Share in global exports (%) 4.99 5.99 3.02 2.31 3.33


East Asia


Nominal GDP per capita (US$) 335 1,329 3,018 4,731 8,483


Share in world output (%) 9.83 12.94 18.14 21.53 20.69


Share in global exports (%) 2.25 3.74 8.06 12.02 17.8


Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2012.


Africa’s industrialization strategies have not,
however, transformed its economies. The seeds
of its woes were sown during the colonial period
but the problem worsened after independence
with the failure of often externally generated
industrial policies.


The colonial legacy is the result of the extractive
nature of African colonialism, which left behind
structures, institutions, and infrastructure designed


to benefit non-Africans. For instance, the roads
and railways built in colonial times were primarily
designed to transport minerals and other raw
materials from the African interior to the continent’s
ports for shipping to Europe. They were not
designed to join one part of the continent to
another, and created a legacy that is still felt in the
twenty-first century, with production and export
of commodities geared towards the needs of the
former colonial powers—not value addition.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


8


Then comes the seesaw of policy failure
after independence: first, import substitution
policies under which African countries decided
to industrialize, then structural adjustment
programmes, which forced African countries to
de-industrialize.


The continent’s early state-led industrialization
strategies that focused on import substitution
were characterized by massive public investment
and ownership of enterprises and financial
institutions—and a range of policy measures
including tariff and non-tariff barriers, credit
controls and foreign exchange restrictions to
protect infant industries. But most governments
did not have the financial and managerial
capacity to operate public enterprises and
financial institutions, and the policies intended
to direct investment towards industry distorted
factor prices and rates of return. Thus, while
import-substitution strategies succeeded
elsewhere—especially in East Asia—they failed
to ignite sustained industrialization in Africa,
leading to mounting and unsustainable deficits,
stagflation and debt crises in many countries by
the end of the 1970s.


To help African countries deal with unfolding
economic crises, the International Monetary
Fund and the World Bank imposed structural
adjustment programmes in the 1980s
and 1990s. Their theoretical premise was
that markets are efficient but government
interventions are inefficient because they distort
market signals. Hence, long-term development
planning was abandoned and industrial
policies neglected in most African countries.
The market-led development model removed
inefficient government interventions but did
not create the conditions for development
or address the numerous market failures in
African economies, such as a severe shortage
of technical skills and entrepreneurship and low
rates of investment.


African governments focused on macroeconomic
stability and institutional reforms to protect
property rights and ensure contract
enforcement—often on advice from donors and
multilateral development institutions—but without
coherent strategies to address market failures


and externalities that constrained investment,
growth and economic diversification.


Thus, Africa’s growth plummeted during the
“lost decades” of the 1980s and 1990s while
unemployment soared, and production and
export bases became more concentrated. And
without industrial policies to address policy
and market failures (especially of information
and coordination), African countries have been
unable, until now, to diversify and parlay recent
high growth and increased trade into social and
economic development.


More recently, the structure of the global system
has made it practically impossible for Africa to
benefit from globalization or move up the value
chain, which requires Africa to influence the
global agenda in its favour.


triggering cOmmOdity-bAsed
industriAlizAtiOn As An engine
Of grOwth And ecOnOmic
trAnsfOrmAtiOn


Africa boasts significant human and natural
resources that can be used to promote
industrialization and structural economic
transformation through value-addition strategies
in all sectors (agriculture, industry and services),
though not all African countries are rich in natural
commodities—some are resource poor.As well as
a growing, predominantly young and urbanizing
population, the continent is endowed with many
natural resources, including plentiful land and
fertile soils, oil and minerals. Africa has about 12
per cent of the world’s oil reserves, 42 per cent
of its gold, 80–90 per cent of chromium and
platinum group metals, and 60 per cent of arable
land in addition to vast timber resources.


With such abundance and rising global demand
for raw materials, African governments are
forging new partnerships, boosting infrastructure
investment and sharing skills and technology.


But Africa can do better. Primary commodity
production and exports entail huge forgone
income through lack of value addition, the




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


9


export of jobs to countries that can add value,
and exposure to high risks due to dependence
on exhaustible commodities and fluctuations
in commodity demand and prices. Instead
of relying on exports of raw materials, the
continent should add value to its commodities to
promote sustained growth, jobs and economic
transformation.


While African commodity-exporting economies
have benefited greatly from recent sustained
increases in the price of their primary commodity
exports and an increase in resource rents, these
rents cannot be relied on as an engine of growth
and development. This is not only because
commodities are exhaustible but also because
adding value would help African countries to
reduce exposure to the risk of commodity price
fluctuation and at the same time move to higher-
value and more diversified product- and end-
markets where prices are more dependent on
market fundamentals than speculation.


Indeed, the entry of financial agents on the
spot and futures markets and the resulting
financialization of commodity trading have
frequently caused these markets to move from a
price-taking environment to one of market power,
partly because they are highly concentrated
and often laced with information asymmetry.
Financial agents have become key players in
driving speculation and herd behaviour, and have
distorted commodity markets including upward
shifts in coffee and cocoa prices and all-time low
prices for cotton.


This behaviour has left African countries
more vulnerable to fluctuations in commodity
markets, whereas artificially high prices for
some commodities have reduced incentives for
value addition. Promoting commodity-based
industrialization could offer a powerful tool
for African countries to tackle this “tyranny of
financialization”. Equally, production of many
commodities is capital intensive, holding back
employment and the distribution of their rents. A
more sustainable, inclusive and equitable growth
path in commodity-exporting economies lies in
the possibilities of building backward and forward
linkages for commodity production.


One upshot of the above factors is that,
although Africa’s growth exceeded the world
average in the 2000s, it did not translate into
commensurate poverty reduction at a time when
poverty elsewhere fell heavily, skewing the global
poverty reduction picture. Similarly, the global
dispersion of production has led to unequal
benefits, benefiting east and south-east Asian
economies, especially China, the most.


So, how can Africa avoid marginalizing itself
from the world economy and achieve inclusive
economic growth? The 2013 edition of the
Economic Report on Africa, themed “Making
the most of Africa’s commodities: Industrializing
for growth, jobs and economic transformation”,
argues that one answer lies in effective industrial
policies and commodity-based industrialization,
strengthening industrial linkages to the
commodity sector.


The conventional wisdom in the “resource
curse” literature argues differently—that
commodities are an undesirable form of
economic specialization undermining the viability
of industrial activity—although global economic
dynamics now suggest that this trade-off
between commodities and industry no longer
holds. The shift in global economic gravity from
high-income Northern to low-income Southern
economies suggests a reversal in the long-term
declining trend in the commodities–manufactures
terms of trade. More important, on top of offering
short- to medium-term comparative advantages,
commodity-based industrialization can, with the
right industrial policies, serve as a launching pad
for long-term diversification and competitiveness
in new and non-commodity sectors in Africa’s
commodity-rich countries.


On top of offering short- to medium-
term comparative advantages,
commodity-based industrialization
can, with the right industrial
policies, serve as a launching pad
for long-term diversification and
competitiveness in new and non-
commodity sectors in Africa’s
commodity-rich countries.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


10


Moreover, the past decade has seen a major
shift in the structure of global value chains
(GVCs) in many sectors, as major firms seek
to outsource non-core competences, and thus
promote linkages. This suggests that we may be
entering a new era in the relationship between
the exploitation of commodities and the growth
of industry—if African governments put in
place policies to facilitate and accelerate such
dynamics. As firms that control GVCs cannot be
relied on to promote linkages beyond their own
interests, African governments need to make
strategic interventions to empower indigenous
firms to insert themselves and compete in
regional and global value chains.


The desire by African governments to promote
linkages from the commodity sector is not new
and the continent offers many successful sector
and country experiences. Mauritius provides a
good example of a country that successfully
developed visions and long-term strategies to
move from a degree of high production and export
concentration in 1980 to wide diversification
three decades later. Changes in the nature of
globalization in the current era have opened
still-unrealized opportunities for increasing local
industrialization linkages.


Against this backdrop, the report examines
key constraints and opportunities for African
countries to make the most of their commodities
by adding value through linkage development. It
then addresses how African countries can design
and implement industrial and other development
policies to promote value addition and economic
transformation, and to reduce their dependence
on producing and exporting unprocessed
commodities.


The analysis uses desk research and country-
specific background policy information,
primary firm-level data and information from
questionnaires and interviews to underpin
evidence-based policy recommendations. The
primary data were collected and country case
studies prepared for nine African countries in
the five subregions—Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt,
Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and
Zambia.


As in previous years, the report begins by
examining recent trends in Africa’s economic
and social development as well as selected
issues, namely trade and financing for economic
transformation and the question of how to
translate growth into decent job creation,
before focusing on “Making the most of Africa’s
commodities: Industrializing for growth, jobs and
economic transformation”—a very brief synopsis
of which is distilled into the following paragraphs.


mAking the mOst Of AfricA’s
cOmmOdities: cOnstrAints And
OppOrtunities


Some of the nine countries show evidence of
making progress in developing local linkages
(backward and forward) from the hard, energy
and soft commodity sectors. But value addition
is still limited and the depth of linkages varies
among countries, mainly because of country-
or industry-specific constraints that cannot be
overcome by market forces and that call for
strategic and systematic industrial policies. Even
today, up to 90 per cent of the total income
from coffee goes to rich consuming countries—
underscoring the benefits African countries are
currently forgoing.


The following are the key findings of the report
on value chain linkages.


the big differences in sOft, hArd
And energy cOmmOdity sectOrs
Affect hOw linkAges develOp


Most soft commodities, as against hard
commodities, have low technological content,


African governments need to put in
place policies to facilitate linkage
development. As firms that control
GVCs cannot be relied on to promote
linkages beyond their own interests,
African governments need to make
strategic interventions to empower
indigenous firms to insert themselves
and compete in regional and global
value chains.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


11


lend themselves to small-scale production, are
labour intensive, require a heterogeneous and
diffused infrastructure and rarely stay fresh in
their natural state, requiring early processing.
Hard commodities generally embody more
complex technologies and require intensive use
of large infrastructure (such as roads, railways
and ports) that can be used for developing
other sectors. Energy commodities are mainly
very technology, scale and capital intensive,
requiring infrastructure of less use to other
sectors.


estAblishing mArketing links And
stAying in gvcs is essentiAl, but
requires systemAtic investment
And suppOrt


Searching for buyers is a costly exercise for
any firm, but a firm must be inserted in regional
and global value chains. Building these linkages
requires appropriate domestic strategic
government support for firms to be globally
competitive in “critical success factors” such as
price, quality, lead times, dynamic capabilities and
compliance with technical, private, health and
environmental standards. Linkage development
is thus a progressive and cumulative process,
and requires continuous investment in
technologies, research and development and
skills, among other elements.


All links in the vAlue chAin
require suppOrt tO upgrAde


Trade-offs between the links may, though, be
needed. For example, because output from the
food commodity sector can vary enormously
in quality, price and technical specifications,
adding value in agro-processing normally
requires support at different stages, including
production, marketing, storage and transport. To
avoid unintended negative impacts on producers
in other links, strategies that target processing
industries must be integrated with interventions
at the commodity-producing and primary-
processing stages.


regiOnAl mArkets mAy Offer mOre
OppOrtunities thAn trAditiOnAl
mArkets


Such opportunities are more apparent when a
firm enters a GVC. Regional markets may be
initially less demanding and allow local firms
to build the necessary production capabilities
required to graduate into more demanding
global chains, a point particularly important
for countries without large domestic markets.
The regional approach opens up space for
ensuring that regional integration within Africa
is fast-tracked and streamlined to provide local
competitive advantage.


trAde Agreements with
trAditiOnAl industriAlized
cOuntries And emerging pArtners
Are impOrtAnt fOr entering new
mArkets


African countries need to improve market
access for their value-added products
through agreements with traditional and
emerging partners. Their strategies, based on
a united framework for negotiation, should
aim to maximize the development impact of
partnerships and, specifically, to reduce high
tariffs (on cocoa to India, for example) and
remove tariff escalation (in the European Union,
for instance).


mAking the mOst Of AfricA’s
cOmmOdities: A pOlicy frAmewOrk


The report identifies factors that influence
linkage breadth and depth—technical features
of the value chain, industry structure, lead-
firm strategies for their critical success
factors, location and infrastructure, a variety of
constraints (trade restrictions, standards), and
government industrial policy. The unevenness of
development among countries is attributed to
two primary sets of linkage drivers—structural
and country-specific.


Structural drivers refer to the age of the
commodity-exploiting sector and sectoral factors




Economic Report on Africa 2013


12


such as the requirement for just-in-time and
flexible logistics, the characteristics of commodity
deposits, and the sector’s technological complexity.
By their very nature, these drivers are difficult to
influence through policy interventions. Country-
specific drivers, on the other hand, are much easier
to influence by government policy, and refer to
factors dependent on national context, such as
infrastructure and human resources.


There is no “one size fits all” policy approach
for commodity-based industrialization in African
countries, or anywhere for that matter, and
government policy should be country specific
and evidence based. It should also have clear
priorities, designate institutional steps to ensure
responsibility for implementation across ministries
at central or local levels, and be backed by
transparent budgets.


The key policy recommendations for adding value
and industrializing in Africa follow.


AdOpt And implement A cOherent
industriAl pOlicy


If African governments want to speed up and
deepen value addition of local production linkages
to the commodity sector, and to embark on a
commodity-based industrialization path, they
must adopt a strategic approach and work closely
with all stakeholders to formulate and implement
industrial policy. The policy should start by
identifying value addition or linkage opportunities
as well as medium- and long-term interventions.


creAte ApprOpriAte inclusive
And trAnspArent institutiOnAl
industriAl-pOlicy mechAnisms


It is critical for governments to develop prioritized
country-specific, industrial-policy roadmaps for
value addition, working closely with stakeholders
including representatives of firms and of research
and innovation institutions. They should set up
a multi-stakeholder institutional council that
focuses on developing linkages to the commodity
sector, led by the most appropriate government
department (usually the ministry of industry). This


council should be charged with developing a joint,
strategic vision for industrialization—gathering
the most reliable information and elaborating an
appropriate step-by-step linkage strategy. The
strategy should outline support mechanisms
including responsibilities, activities, outputs and
milestones.


develOp An ApprOpriAtely directed
lOcAl cOntent pOlicy


Local content policies have probably been the
single most important policy driver of linkages from
the commodity sector. World Trade Organization
rules provide some legal leeway to least-developed
economies—and many countries anyway find real-
world mechanisms to push through and sustain
local content policies. Policies should focus
on adding value locally (rather than satisfying
special interest groups), removing red tape and
streamlining regulations, as well as securing
technical and financial assistance for developing
linkages.


AdOpt strAtegic interventiOns tO
insert indigenOus firms in supply
chAins


Following the dynamics of national, regional and
global value chains, it is in the interests of major
commodity firms to outsource many of their
supplies and services. Industrial policy should
cover customized supply-chain development
programmes that help indigenous firms to
insert themselves in these value chains and to
remain competitive. Such policy may focus on
upscale niche markets and quality certification—
environmental sustainability, speciality products
or fair trade—as well as on special funding
mechanisms to build firms’ capabilities in backward
and forward linkages.


bOOsting lOcAl skills And
technOlOgicAl cApAbilities


Skills shortages are often a binding constraint
on developing industrial linkages in Africa.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


13


They hamstring local suppliers in upgrading
operational competitiveness, meeting technical
requirements, innovating, adopting world-class
manufacturing practices and running supply-
chain and customer-management programmes.
Backward linkage development to the hard
commodity sector is particularly demanding of
technological capabilities to compete with global
suppliers. Building necessary skills requires
coordinated support from other firms, the
government and donors. Government support
may include matching-grant programmes for
skills development for local firms, creation of
technical training institutions and staff hires.


Address infrAstructure
cOnstrAints And bOttlenecks


Infrastructure deficits affect not only cross-
border infrastructure but also feeder roads
linking agricultural producers to processing
centres. Infrastructure development helps to
ease these bottlenecks, and has spin-offs for
jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled workers
as well as for training for those with higher
artisanal skills. Industrial and development policy
in Africa should include strategic investment in
infrastructure and avoid “enclave” infrastructure
projects and programmes aimed only at
satisfying the needs of commodity producers.
Governments should use commodity access to
secure favourable financing (of infrastructure
in bilateral agreements), to leverage public–
private partnerships (to facilitate infrastructure
provision) and to restructure institutions that
provide soft infrastructure (to simplify and make
the regulatory framework effective, efficient and
business friendly).


imprOve pOlicy implementAtiOn
thrOugh cOOrdinAtiOn AmOng
ministries


Value chains are cross-cutting, ministries are
not. A commodity-based industrial strategy
necessarily requires inter-departmental
direction and implementation. Soft commodities
tend to fall under the mandate of agriculture
ministries and hard commodities under mining


and oil ministries; industrial policy requires
the involvement and direction of ministries of
industry, besides the budgetary allocations for
implementation. Effective policy implementation
therefore requires coordination across ministries
and departments in the context of broader
national development plans and frameworks that
ensure participation of the private sector and
other stakeholders.


negOtiAte regiOnAl trAde
ArrAngements And fOster intrA-
AfricAn trAde


Regional markets can be important in facilitating
local production linkages both within and
between African countries. It is extremely
difficult to export to high-income, industrialized-
country markets as their critical success
factors are often beyond the immediate reach
of many domestic firms. Regional markets are
often less demanding and provide learning
opportunities for domestic firms to build their
production capabilities step-by-step. They also
allow them to build economies of scale, some
degree of specialization between countries and
functional upgrades through regional “country
of origin” branding—hence greater returns.
African countries should therefore fast-track
implementation of the Continental Free Trade
Area agreement and accelerate that of regional
trade arrangements to reduce or eliminate
non-tariff barriers, sanitary and phytosanitary
measures, and technical barriers to trade. They
should also improve regional infrastructure and
harmonize customs procedures.


mAking the mOst Of regiOnAl
pOlicy frAmewOrks


To be effective and improve coordination at
regional and continental levels, national industrial
development frameworks in Africa should, as far
as possible, be closely aligned with the priorities
of the Accelerated Industrial Development
of Africa Action Plan, endorsed by African
Ministers of Industry in 2007. This identifies
priorities for action at national, regional,
continental and international levels, including




Economic Report on Africa 2013


14


product and export diversification policy, natural
resource management and value addition in
natural resources, infrastructure, human capital
and technology, institutional frameworks and
resource mobilization.


To cater to domestic and export markets, this
report recommends that national value-adding
strategies should also be closely coordinated to
boost efforts by African countries to promote
strategic commodities such as rice, legumes,
maize, cotton, palm oil, beef as well as dairy,
poultry and fishery products at continental level,
and cassava, sorghum and millet subregionally.


... And finAlly


The findings and recommendations of this
report strongly complement those of previous
years that emphasized the need for African
countries to pursue effective policy actions
to address the factors constraining economic
transformation. For example, the 2012 report


pursued the theme that, to address the
failures of state-and market-led development
experiences and to unleash Africa’s potential as
a pole of global growth, the continent required
developmental states that design and implement
innovative and bold long-term actions.


This report underscores the point that commodity-
based industrialization in Africa should not—and
cannot—be the only way for African countries
to industrialize. Not all African countries are
rich in natural resources and, in the long-term,
even resource-rich countries have to venture
into innovative non-resource-based activities
to sustain their industries when resources are
exhausted.


Africa’s industrialization is likely to take place
in a changing globalized economy full of
uncertainties. African governments should
therefore work together to develop a united
vision on how to influence the global economic
agenda and, in so doing, shape the outcomes of
globalization itself. The time has come for Africa
to stop being a bystander to its own destiny.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


15




Economic Report on Africa 2013


16




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


17


Economic and Social Developments in
Africa and Medium-term Prospects1




Economic Report on Africa 2013


18


MINIMIZING GENDER
DISPARITIES WILL ENHANCE


THE PRODUCTIVE BASE OF THE
LABOR FORCE.


Enhan
cing h


uman
capita


l will p
romote


produ
ctivity


which
is


vital fo
r econ


omic t
ransfo


rmatio
n.


Africa’s medium growth is subject to internal and external
downside risks such as internal conflicts and wars and the
euro area debt crisis.


M
E


D
IU


M
GR


OWTH


AFRICAN COUNTRIES ARE
GROWING BUT HAVE BEEN
UNABLE TO FULFIL THEIR
INDUSTRIAL POTENTIAL.


INT
E


R
N


AL
CONFLIC


TS


EX
TE


R
NA


L CONFLI C
TS


RISKS


EX
PORTS


PRODUCTIVITY


ECONOMIC
TRANSFORMATION


Despite the difficulties in the global economy,
Africa’s growth remains relatively strong.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


19


AFRICAN COUNTRIES REqUIRE ROBUST, BROAD-BASED AND
INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH FOR A LONG PERIOD.


THEY HAVE A REAL OPPORTUNITY, INDIVIDUALLY AND
COLLECTIVELY, TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION
THROUGH COMMODITY-BASED INDUSTRIALIZATION AND TO
ADDRESS POVERTY, INEqUALITY AND YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT.


Enhan
cing h


uman
capita


l will p
romote


produ
ctivity


which
is


vital fo
r econ


omic t
ransfo


rmatio
n.


Economic transformation will create
job opportunities for the youth and
unleash Africa’s growth potential.


JOBS OPPORTUNITIES


JOBS


OPPORTUNITIES


OPPORTUNITIES


OPPORTUNITIES


OPPORTUNITIES


JOBS


JOBS


JO
BS


GROWTH POTENTIAL


JOBS


RESOURCES


Africa’s growth is heavily dependent on primary
commodity exports.


BROAD-BASED AND INCLUSIVE GROWTH




Economic Report on Africa 2013


20


The world economy showed signs of decelerating in 2012, threatening the pace of the recovery from the global financial
and economic crisis of 2008–2009. The euro
area, Africa’s biggest economic partner, headed
for another recession with lingering worries over
mounting sovereign debts and fiscal sustainability.
Emerging economies, such as China and India,
saw notably slower activity. Prospects of an early
exit from the turmoil are clouded by uncertainty
over the euro area sovereign debt crisis, fiscal
consolidation in major world regions and the
brinksmanship of negotiations over the “fiscal cliff”
and debt ceiling in the United States (US). They
have induced downside risks in an already fragile
global economy.


Africa’s economic growth picked up in 2012 to
well above the worldwide average, despite these
global headwinds. The recovery in many African
countries was underpinned by a variety of factors,
including high demand and prices for commodities
on international markets, strengthening domestic
demand associated with rising incomes and
urbanization, increasing public spending (especially
on infrastructure), bumper harvests in some regions
(due to favourable weather), tightening trade and
investment ties with emerging economies (linked
to their investment in Africa’s natural-resource and
extractive industries), and post-conflict economic
recovery in some conflict countries.


The continent’s medium-term growth prospects are
positive, although it faces risks such as reliance on
traditional rain-fed agriculture, political instability
and social unrest in some of its countries and
uncertainty due to the global economic outlook.


Yet most African economies still depend heavily
on commodity production and exports—despite
diversifying into non-primary commodity sectors
such as manufacturing and services—with limited
value addition and few forward and backward
linkages to other sectors of the economy. This
structural weakness has prevented them from
transforming growth into commensurate jobs and
faster social development. Indeed, the pattern of
social development trends in Africa has been mixed


over recent years: positive changes continue to be
recorded in most areas but the pace of progress
is slow and insufficient for African countries to
achieve their social development goals—especially
the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the
original date of 2015.


Value addition and structural transformation are,
though, essential for these countries’ economies
to accelerate and then sustain broad growth; to
improve social conditions by creating jobs, lowering
inequality and cutting poverty; and to reduce their
vulnerability to external shocks.


Boosting value addition appears to be an area
of priority both in the development discourse
and for stakeholders involved in consultations on
the post-2015 development agenda organized
by pan-African bodies, including the United
Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
and the African Union Commission (AUC). The
preliminary findings of their consultations indicate a
preference for an agenda that prioritizes structural
transformation and inclusive growth, with a focus
on promoting agriculture, manufacturing, technology
and innovation, and human development.


1.1 AfricA’s ecOnOmic perfOrmAnce
in 2012


The recovery strengthened as political
tensions eased in North Africa


The economic recovery in Africa strengthened in
20121 to 5 per cent (figure 1.1), despite a slowing
world economy. Political turmoil and tensions in
North Africa began to ease—democratic elections
were held and new leaders inaugurated in Egypt
and Libya—and normal economic activity began
to return. Africa’s medium-term growth prospects
remain strong at, for example, 4.8 per cent in 2013
and 5.1 per cent in 2014.


Commodity production and exports stayed
essential for growth on the continent, although
many countries are diversifying their economies
and sources of growth. Thus in 2012 growth was




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


21


08


06


04


02


00


-02


-04


figure 1.1: gdp grOwth, 2008–2012


R
ea


l G
D


P
g


ro
w


th
r


at
e


(%
)


2008 2010 2011 2012


Years


strong in both commodity-rich and resource-poor
countries, although of the two sets the oil-exporters
saw growth rising slightly faster, thanks to
increased oil production and high prices.


African growth also continued to benefit from
improved macroeconomic management and
prudential macroeconomic policies that underpinned
strong public spending, especially on infrastructure
and public services. Rising domestic consumption
and investment demand, fuelled by rising incomes


and urbanization, accounted for more than half
the growth in many African countries in 2012.
Indeed, disaggregating the components of real
gross domestic product (GDP) growth, private
consumption was the key growth driver in Africa
in 2012, followed by gross fixed investment and
government consumption (figure 1.2). Gross fixed
investment and exports recovered strongly in North
Africa in 2012, but the contribution of gross fixed
investment to real GDP growth declined in the rest
of Africa as the external balance narrowed.


2009


Source: Calculations based on UN-DESA (2012).


World Developing economies Africa




Economic Report on Africa 2013


22


Africa, excluding North Africa


North Africa


figure 1.2: cOmpOnents Of reAl gdp grOwth, 2008–2013


C
on


tr
ib


ut
io


n
to


r
ea


l G
D


P
g


ro
w


th
, %


C
on


tr
ib


ut
io


n
to


r
ea


l G
D


P
g


ro
w


th
, %


Source: Calculations based on EIU (2012).


5


4


3


2


1


0


-1


-2


-3


3


2


1


0


-1


-2


-3


-4


2008 2010 2011 201320122009


2008 2010 2011 201320122009


Private consumption Government consumption Gross fixed investment External balance




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


23


Growing importance of emerging economies


Although Africa’s traditional partners from the
“Global North” remain important, its increasing trade
and investment ties with emerging economies have
helped many of its countries not just to mitigate
the impact of the recession in Europe but also to
diversify exports by destination and composition.
These ties are also helping African countries to
diversify their sources of capital and to attract
increased foreign direct investment (FDI) and official
development assistance (ODA) for infrastructure and
other non-commodity sectors. As political tensions


declined, tourism receipts also rose in Africa,
supporting growth in 2012.


Despite the slowdown in the global economy (box
1.1), many African countries benefited from foreign
capital. ODA was almost unchanged despite the
fiscal difficulties faced by major donor countries.
Further, while overall FDI inflows declined, those
originating from emerging economies actually
increased and remittances remained high, supporting
investment and demand in several African countries.
Both FDI and remittances are projected to rise as
the global economy recovers (see chapter 2).


bOx 1.1: key develOpments in the wOrld ecOnOmy, 2012


The world economy grew by 2.2 per cent in 2012, slowing from 2.7 per cent in 2011, mainly owing
to a decline in global demand, the euro area debt crisis and uncertainty over the fiscal cliff and debt
ceiling in the US. The global recovery from the “triple crisis”—food, fuel and finance—is, however,
expected to strengthen over the medium term.


Regional growth


Economic activity in the European Union (EU) contracted by 0.3 per cent in 2012 from 1.5 per
cent in 2011 (UN-DESA, 2012). Germany’s real GDP growth rate is expected to have contracted
to 0.8 per cent in 2012 after 3.0 per cent growth in 2011, while France is estimated to have grown
by only 0.1 per cent, down from 1.7 per cent. The US managed growth of 2.1 per cent in 2012,
reflecting stronger private consumption and investment as well as a better credit environment.
Japan’s economy improved, largely on increased construction expenditure.


Economic growth decelerated in emerging economies owing to weak export demand and reduced
investment growth, especially in China and India. Western Asia’s economic growth rate fell to 3.3
per cent in 2012, from 6.7 per cent the previous year, owing to sluggish external demand and
public spending cuts. The Latin America and the Caribbean region grew by 3.1 per cent in 2012,
down from 4.3 per cent a year earlier, as export demand tailed off and commodity prices for non-
food exports fell (UN-DESA, 2012).


The global job crisis persisted in 2012 despite governments’ efforts to create employment and
stimulate economic growth. World unemployment stood at 6 per cent in 2011 with joblessness
at more than 8 per cent in developed economies as a group, down from 8.3 per cent the previous
year. In 2012, unemployment reached over 25 per cent in countries such as Spain and Greece as
austerity measures continued to take effect.


Prospects for the global economy hinge on an early exit from the euro area debt crisis, the
success of bailout packages and the non-conventional monetary policies initiated to address
fiscal and monetary integrity in major industrialized economies. Restoring fiscal integrity, coupled
with measures aimed at reducing public indebtedness across the globe, still requires sound policy
interventions.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


24


With the global economy forecast to grow at 2.4 per cent in 2013 and 3.2 per cent in 2014, the
worst of the sovereign debt crisis might be over, and most developed and emerging countries are
expected to return to their growth trajectories in the medium term.


Inflation


World inflation declined from 3.6 per cent in 2011 to 2.8 per cent in 2012, and is expected to
steadily decline to 2.6 per cent in 2013, mainly on sluggish aggregate demand, quantitative easing
in the US, and ultra-low interest rates and extremely accommodative monetary policy stances in
most countries. The combination of a weakened economic environment and falling inflation will
enable governments in the US and euro area to allow further monetary easing, supporting the
repair of private sector and bank balance sheets.


Fiscal trends


Fiscal balances improved in almost all major economies and regions, reflecting fiscal consolidation
and austerity measures, although the pace may be derailed by economic and social pressures in
many developed countries. Advanced economies cut their overall deficit from 6.5 per cent of GDP
in 2011 to 5.9 per cent in 2012, with the US at 8.6 per cent and Japan at more than 10 per cent
of GDP that year.


Fiscal positions for some developing regions such as the Latin America and the Caribbean
strengthened as most countries continued their cautious fiscal policies while rebuilding fiscal
buffers, aided by favourable export revenues.


Countries in the euro area are expected to reduce their overall fiscal deficit by only 0.8 per cent of
GDP in 2013. In developing countries, fiscal deficits in 2013 are forecast to decrease, except in
the Middle East and North Africa owing to reduced oil revenues caused by supply-side disruptions
to oil production.


Commodities


The all-commodity price index increased in the first quarter of 2012, reaching a year-high of 202
in March 2012 as demand from developing countries rose. The world crude oil price remained high
at around US$109.9 per barrel in 2012 compared to US$107.5 in 2011. The food price index
surged after July as severe weather hit crops, especially in the US. Prices of sugar, cereals and rice
rose the sharpest, while meat and dairy prices remained fairly flat. The index for agricultural raw
materials and products such as coffee, rubber, cotton and beverages declined in 2012.


Most global commodity prices are expected to stay high in 2013, despite global economic growth
below potential, owing to limited supply and weather risks stemming from global climate change.


External balances


World exports grew by only 5.0 per cent by value in 2012, much less than previous year’s 17.3 per cent,
as import demand from major developed countries sharply contracted. Current account balances for
major economies and regions narrowed slightly in 2012, reflecting a decline in international trade and
decelerating global demand, rather than any improvement in structural imbalances (UN-DESA, 2012).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


25


The US dollar and Japanese yen appreciated in the first half of the year, as the euro area debt
crisis drove up global investors’ risk aversion and induced an appetite for safe-haven currencies.
Global FDI moderated in 2012, while global remittance flows rose by 6.4 per cent (chapter 2).


Medium-term risks for the global economy


The greatest risks are difficulties in the euro area, uncertainty over tax reforms, spending cuts, the
debt ceiling and high household indebtedness in the US, fiscal consolidation in most industrialized
countries, economic slowdown in emerging countries and political instability, especially in the
Middle East.


Policies to rectify global imbalances and ensure sound fiscal and monetary health in the global
financial infrastructure remain crucial to restoring global health. The European Central Bank, for
instance, has launched major policy interventions to calm the escalating crisis. These policies will,
however, need to be accompanied by long-term structural reform to restore confidence in the
financial sector and steer the global economy to long-term growth.


Such trade and investment ties and sources of
growth will undoubtedly assist the continent to
reduce vulnerability to external shocks and to
expand opportunities for faster, sustainable and
more equitable growth.


Largely stable, shared and robust growth


Growth has been widely shared and remained
strong across the majority of African countries,


despite the disruptive impact of the global
economic and financial crisis, and the political
turmoil in North Africa. More than a third of
African countries grew at 5 per cent or more in
2012, with a large proportion achieving this rate
over 2010–2012 (table 1.1). This underscores
the growing potential of African countries
to accelerate and then sustain growth in the
foreseeable future.


real gdp growth 2010 2011 2012


Oil exporters Oil importers Oil exporters Oil importers Oil exporters Oil importers


Less than 3% 1 9 6 7 4 9


3–5% 7 8 4 16 3 17


5–7% 2 13 1 10 3 6


More than 7% 3 10 2 7 3 8


Total 13 40 13 40 13 40


tAble 1.1: distributiOn Of grOwth perfOrmAnce in AfricA, 2010–2012


Source: Calculations based on UN-DESA (2012).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


26


Per capita GDP growth


Africa’s population growth is estimated at above
2 per cent a year, but with projected increases in
economic growth, per capita GDP is likely to rise
over the medium term (AfDB et al., 2012). Indeed, in
2012 the continent’s per capita GDP was estimated
at around 3 per cent. However, while this suggests
that the standard of living in African countries has
on average been improving, the pace is very slow—
gains in social conditions are failing to match the
continent’s robust economic performance.


Subregionally, West Africa and East Africa continued
to register real per capita GDP growth of more than
3 per cent, followed by Central Africa and Southern
Africa. North Africa (excluding Libya) was the only
subregion experiencing a contraction because of the
overall slow recovery from the civil war in Libya and
political turmoil in other countries such as Egypt and
Tunisia. Still, average per capita GDP has continued
to grow in resource-exporting countries over the


last decade. With the right policy framework, this
progress, if sustained, has the potential to reverse
the “resource curse” that has blighted many African
countries. Governments need to pursue policies that
reduce inequality, promote job creation and increase
social protection in order to make growth more
conducive to social development (chapter 2).


Growth showed geographical variations


Real GDP growth varied among groupings,
subregions and countries, but remained fairly strong
in both oil-exporting and oil-importing countries.


Oil exporters and importers


Oil-exporting countries as a group recovered
strongly in 2012 (6.1 per cent) as some countries’
political situation improved (especially in North
Africa), oil production increased (in many countries)
and oil prices stayed high on international markets
(figure 1.3).


figure 1.3: AfricAn grOwth by Oil expOrters And impOrters, 2008–2012


R
ea


l G
D


P
g


ro
w


th
r


at
e,


%


Years


07


06


05


04


03


02


01


00


-01


-02


-03
2008 2010 2011 20122009


Source: Calculations based on UN-DESA (2012).


Oil exporting countries Oil importing countries Africa




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


27


African subregions


Oil-importing countries experienced a decline
in growth to 3.7 per cent in 2012 from 4.5 per
cent in 2011. Despite the reduction, the group
maintained robust growth thanks to a variety
of factors, including strong demand and high
prices for non-oil commodities and improved
performance in agriculture, services and other
sectors. Strong non-oil based growth adds to the
growing momentum of economic diversification
in African countries. Countries like Kenya
experienced strong recovery from the end of


drought, and post-conflict recovery in other
countries contributed to the impressive growth
rates experienced in this group.


Subregional trends


Growth rates also varied in 2012 by subregion, but
remained robust in all of them (figure 1.4). West
Africa registered the highest growth, followed by
East Africa, North Africa including Libya,2 Central
Africa and Southern Africa.


Economic performance in West Africa moderated
to 6.3 per cent in 2012 from 6.5 per cent in 2011.
Nigeria, the continent’s second-largest economy,
slowed to 6.4 per cent from 7.4 per cent, reflecting
receding fiscal stimulus and slowing oil investments
on security concerns across the Niger Delta. Ghana’s
economy, after a sharp increase in 2011 when the
country launched commercial oil production, slowed
from 15.1 per cent in 2011 to a more realistic 7.4 per
cent in 2012.


Political instability in Guinea-Bissau and Mali
affected subregional growth, and both countries
saw growth decline by more than 4.4 percentage
points, but this was balanced by growth in Sierra
Leone of 26.5 per cent owing to the discovery
of new oil deposits. Côte d’Ivoire posted 7 per
cent post-conflict growth with a return to normal
harvests. A growing pace of the extractive
industry in oil supported Niger’s 9.1 per cent
expansion.


figure 1.4: grOwth by subregiOn, 2008–2012


R
ea


l G
D


P
g


ro
w


th
r


at
e,


%


08


07


06


05


04


03


02


01


00


-01


-02
Africa West Africa Central Africa East AfricaNorth Africa Southern Africa


Source: Calculations based on UN-DESA (2012).


2008 2009 2010 2011 2012




Economic Report on Africa 2013


28


In East Africa, growth slipped to 5.6 per cent in
2012 from 6.3 per cent in 2011, although most
countries performed well in 2012, marking a
recovery in agriculture, vibrant domestic demand
and expansion in services. Kenya’s growth rose
to 4.8 per cent in 2012 from 4.4 per cent, aided
by robust domestic demand, strong services,
increased government expenditure and sound
monetary policies (which in fact brought inflation
down in most East African countries).


Tanzania maintained strong growth (6.8 per cent)
owing to prudent fiscal and monetary policies,
increased tax collection and reduced non-
recurrent spending. Growth also remained strong
in Rwanda (7.9 per cent), Ethiopia (7 per cent),
Eritrea (6.5 per cent) and Seychelles (3.6 per
cent). Performance was marked by high inflation
in, for example, Ethiopia, fiscal consolidation and
aid dependency in Rwanda, and food security
concerns and a stagnant private sector in Eritrea.
Tourism in Seychelles declined because of the
euro area debt crisis.


Looking forward, rural poverty, income inequality,
youth unemployment and uncertainty in the global
outlook continue to raise questions for growth in
this subregion.


Growth in Central Africa remained at 5.0 per cent
in 2012. Nonetheless, Chad doubled its growth
in 2012 (to 6.2 per cent) as non-oil sectors and
energy-related industries expanded, oil prices rose
and government expenditure stabilized. Growth
also accelerated in Cameroon (to 4.5 per cent—
reflecting increased oil and gas production) and the
Central African Republic (to 3.8 per cent—better
harvests and exports). Equatorial Guinea saw a
decrease, to 6.3 per cent. Strikes and interruptions
in oil production took down Gabon’s growth to 4.7
per cent, from 5.8 per cent in 2011, and the country
continues to face high unemployment and low
human development.


This region still relies heavily on output of
primary commodities and extractive industries,
making inclusive growth and job creation a major
challenge.


Southern Africa’s output stayed almost the same
for the third consecutive year, at 3.5 per cent.
South Africa’s close integration with the world


economy translated into a notable slowdown in
growth from 3.1 per cent in 2011 to 2.5 per cent
in 2012, exacerbated by mining strikes. Several
other countries saw growth moderate. Growth in
Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zambia declined
by more than 0.8 per cent of GDP because of
lower government revenue from mining and weak
global demand for copper, diamond and gold.
Namibia pegged its dollar to the South African
rand, exposing it to contagion from South Africa.


Angola registered the most robust growth, which
nearly doubled to 7.5 per cent, on increased
oil production and investment in natural gas.
Mozambique, having become a coal exporter
in 2011, also showed robust growth in 2012,
of 7.5 per cent, as greater FDI contributed to
output. Mauritius maintained moderate growth
(3.1 per cent) as it diversified into banking
and manufacturing. Swaziland, one of slower
economies in recent years, recovered from
contraction to register 1.7 per cent growth in
2012, mainly owing to higher public spending
supported by increased payments from the
Southern African Customs Union.


The region still benefits strongly from a stabilizing
international environment. However, high
unemployment and inequalities remain downside
risks.


North Africa almost fully recovered from the 2011
contraction that stemmed from political and social
unrest in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, reaching growth
of 5.4 per cent.3 Although the subregion showed
resilience to the global financial crisis, its recovery
is plagued by continuing political uncertainty as
well as slow activity in its key economic partners in
the euro area. Egypt was particularly hit, as growth
weakened to 1.1 per cent in 2012 from 1.8 per
cent the previous year, mirroring uncertainty over
parliamentary and presidential procedures as well
as political tensions surrounding the country’s new
constitution, which hurt investment and services,
notably tourism.


Morocco’s GDP growth decelerated from 4.1
per cent to 2.8 per cent in 2012, also largely
attributable to the European slowdown and its own
poor performance in agriculture. In Libya, growth
bounced back by 100.7 per cent as reconstruction
investment stimulated the economy and oil




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


29


production increased from 0.5 million barrels per
day at end-2011 to 1.42 million by July 2012
(World Bank, 2012). Tunisia’s economy switched
from a 1.7 per cent contraction in 2011 to 2.6
per cent growth in 2012, reflecting a recovery
in tourism, exports and FDI. Despite a partial
shutdown of a key refinery, Algeria sustained its
high level of oil production and expansionary fiscal
policy, recording growth of 2.8 per cent. In Sudan,
however, the economy contracted steeply by 11
per cent owing to the political environment, civil
war, a sharp fall in oil production, exchange rate
depreciation and escalating inflation. Mauritania
saw growth slip to 4.8 per cent in 2012 from
5.1 per cent in 2011, though it was still robust
thanks to investment in mining and strong public
spending.


High youth unemployment remains an issue for the
subregion. Reducing joblessness for all age groups


requires structural labour market reforms, restoration
of market confidence, inclusive growth, refurnished
foreign exchange reserves and maintenance of
political and social stability.


In 2008–2012, the top 11 growth performers in
Africa reached the 7 per cent threshold estimated
as a prerequisite for achieving the MDGs, with
Ethiopia and Sierra Leone the top two (figure
1.5). Ethiopia’s growth has been propelled by
increased public and private investment, improved
macroeconomic management and increasing role
for manufacturing and services sectors among
other factors, while growth in Sierra-Leone mainly
reflects post–civil war recovery and natural
resource discoveries and exploitation. The list
of top performers underscores the centrality of
commodity production and exports. The majority
of these countries are heavily dependent on oil or
minerals (or both).4


figure 1.5: tOp 10 And bOttOm 5 perfOrmers, 2008-2012
(AverAge % AnnuAl grOwth)


00 02 04 06 08 10 12


Ethiopia


Sierra Leone


Libya


Ghana


Rwanda


Liberia


Malawi


Zimbabwe


Nigeria


Mozambique


South Africa


Comoros


Madagascar


Sudan


Swaziland


Source: Calculations based on UN-DESA (2012).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


30


Swaziland, Sudan, Madagascar, Comoros and
South Africa had the weakest performance during
2008-2012. The economy of Swaziland slowed
down owing to a sustained declined in textile and
clothing industry among other factors. Sudan’s low
average growth rate is largely due to a contraction
of 11 per cent in 2012, caused by the political
environment, continued civil war and the secession
of South Sudan and related border tensions
are contributing to its low average growth rates.
However, given intensifying national and regional
peace efforts, growth in the country is expected
to rebound over the medium-term. South Africa’s
exposure to the global financial markets has
played a significant role in its growth performance
over the last 5 years.


Employment generation is still a major
challenge


Strong growth across the continent has not
been translated into the broad-based economic
and social development needed to lift millions
of Africans out of poverty and reduce the wide
inequalities seen in most countries. This is
because Africa’s recent growth, driven by primary
commodities, has low employment intensity—that
is, the ability to generate jobs (ECA and AUC,
2010).


Thus the continent continues to suffer from high
unemployment, particularly for youth and female
populations, with too few opportunities to absorb
new labour market entrants. North Africa is
recovering from the Arab Spring of 2011 largely
espoused by youth-led protests, but countries like
South Africa are experiencing threats to political
and economic stability, as seen in recent mining
conflicts stemming from poor job quality in mining.


More than 70 per cent of Africans earn their
living from vulnerable employment as economies
continue to depend heavily on production and
export of primary commodities. Investments
remain concentrated in capital-intensive extractive
industries, with few forward and backward
linkages with the rest of the economy. Wider
diversification from primary commodity production
is therefore needed, as is intensified value addition in
commodity sectors (discussed further in chapter 2).


Inflationary pressure waned in most countries


Average inflation for Africa, measured by the
consumer price index, remained high at 9.2 per cent
in 2012, a shade lower than the 9.3 per cent of
the previous year (figure 1.6). Key factors included
exchange rate devaluations, rising energy costs,
unfavourable weather and poor harvests.


figure 1.6: inflAtiOn by subregiOn, 2008–2012


A
nn


ua
l i


nfl
at


io
n


ra
te


, %


Years


25


20


15


10


05


00
2008 2010 2011 20122009


Source: Calculations based on IMF (2012).


North Africa West Africa Central Africa East Africa Southern Africa Africa




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


31


Inflation varied among African countries and
subregions, and was 40 per cent in Sudan. Despite
tightening its monetary policy, East Africa had the
highest subregional rate (14.2 per cent) because
of the effects of the previous year’s severe drought
on agricultural produce and uncertain weather.
Ethiopia had the highest inflation (25 per cent) in
the subregion. In Central and West Africa rates were
mainly in single digits, apart from Sierra Leone (12.6
per cent) and Nigeria (12.5 per cent).


Inflation is expected to decline further, owing to
tightening monetary policy and improving weather,
especially in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.


Prudence ruled the macroeconomic policy
stance


Owing to the adverse global economic environment
and narrower macroeconomic space compared with
the pre-crisis era, many African countries followed
cautious macroeconomic policies in 2012. In
response to inflationary pressures, Ethiopia, Kenya,
Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda tightened monetary
policy in 2012, but others such as the Franc Zone
countries—where average inflation of 3.9 per cent
in 2012 was Africa’s lowest—eased theirs. The
pressure on central banks to tighten monetary policy


waned as non-oil commodity prices began to fall in
some countries with improved rainfall and increased
agricultural production. The central banks of South
Africa and Morocco lowered interest rates to boost
domestic demand and growth (EIU, 2012).


Most African countries continued their expansionary
fiscal policies, supported by rising commodity
revenue, with a strong focus on increasing public
spending on infrastructure. As part of the drive to
reduce dependence on external assistance and
mobilize domestic resources, tax efforts picked
up in many countries (see chapter 2). Supported
by strong economic growth, many governments
widened the tax base and improved tax collection and
administration.


The average central government fiscal balance
narrowed moderately from a deficit of 3.5 per cent
of GDP in 2011 to a deficit of 3.0 per cent in 2012
(figure 1.7). It improved considerably for oil-exporting
countries as a group, as oil production recovered with
easing political tensions (and despite rising public
spending on social security). The average worsened
for oil-importing countries, however, as energy prices
rose on the world market, demands for infrastructure
investment increased and ODA declined or stagnated
(on weak growth in developed economies).


figure 1.7: AfricAn centrAl gOvernment fiscAl bAlAnces by cOuntry grOup,
2008–2012


C
en


tr
al


g
ov


er
nm


en
t


fis
ic


al
b


al
an


ce


(%
o


f
G


D
P


)


Years


06


04


02


00


-02


-04


-06


2008 2009 2010 2011 2012e


Source: Calculations based on EIU (2012).


Oil exporting countries Oil importing countrie Mineral-rich Non-mineral, non-oil rich Africa


e = estimated.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


32


Many governments maintained accommodative
fiscal policies owing to the significant requirement
of public investments in areas of infrastructure and
employment creation. Recent discoveries of minerals
in several African countries are expected to further
expand fiscal space as well as public spending in
countries such as Ghana, Kenya, Mauritania and
Uganda.


External positions continued diverging
between oil exporters and importers


Africa’s current account deficit widened from
1.2 per cent of GDP in 2011 to 1.6 per cent in
2012 (figure 1.8) owing to sluggish external
demand for exports. A notable variation was


seen between oil-exporting and oil-importing
countries. The former group’s average current
account surplus remained at 2.2 per cent, similar
to 2011. Oil-importing countries, on the other
hand, experienced expanding deficits (to 7.5 per
cent) as world energy prices increased. For many
oil-importers, the combination of rising and fairly
inelastic import bills and declining export growth
translated into higher current account deficits.
Depreciation of domestic currencies against the
US dollar and the effect of recession in Europe
further contributed to wider deficits in this group.
The socio-economic gap between these two
groups may widen, as the oil-importing countries
face the dual pressure of rising oil prices and
falling external capital inflows (see chapter 2).


figure 1.8: AfricAn current AccOunt bAlAnces by cOuntry grOup, 2008–2012


C
ur


re
nt


a
cc


ou
nt


b
al


an
ce



(%


o
f


G
D


P
)


Years


15


10


05


00


-05


-10
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012


Source: Calculations based on IMF (2012).


Oil exporting countries Oil importing countries Mineral-rich Non-mineral, non-oil rich Africa


1.2 medium-term OutlOOk


The prognosis is good …


Africa’s medium-term growth prospects remain
robust with average GDP growth (including


Libya) projected at 4.8 per cent for 2013 and
5.1 per cent for 2014 (figure 1.9).5 On top
of the key growth factors that underpinned
Africa’s economic performance in 2012, recent
discoveries of natural resources will boost
prospects.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


33


Robust domestic demand, especially private
consumption and buoyant fixed investment in
infrastructure and extractive industries, as well
as high government spending, remains a key
driver of economic growth in Africa. Growth in
many countries is expected to continue benefiting
from expanding agricultural output and further
moves to diversify into services—especially
telecommunications, construction and banking—
and manufacturing. Still, commodity production
and exports are set to remain the key factors
underpinning Africa’s medium-term growth.


Among the five subregions, West and East Africa
are still expected to be the fastest growing at 6.6
per cent and 6.0 per cent in 2013, followed by
Central Africa, North Africa and Southern Africa.


West Africa will continue to gain from
commodities—especially oil and minerals as Ghana,
Niger and Sierra Leone exploit new discoveries—
and from cemented peace and stability in Côte
d’Ivoire.


Increasing economic diversity, rising agricultural
output and exports, as well as new natural-


resource discoveries are expected to boost growth
in East Africa, which has remained one of the
top performing subregions. Consolidating peace
and ensuring political stability in the Democratic
Republic of Congo and Somalia will help to improve
prospects in the subregion.


Central Africa is forecast to sustain moderate
growth of 4.7 per cent in 2013 and 4.4 per cent in
2014, with strong commodity production and export
demand, but the subregion is likely to be hit by an
unfolding civil war in the Central African Republic.


Growth in North Africa (including Libya) is expected
to remain strong at 4.2 per cent in 2013 and
pick up to 4.6 per cent in 2014 as the political
environment normalizes and economic activity gains
momentum. The economy of Libya will recover to
pre-crisis levels and those of Algeria and Sudan
should benefit from better agricultural harvests.


Southern Africa is projected to grow at 4.0 per cent
in 2013 and 4.3 per cent in 2014. The economy
of South Africa is forecast to grow at 3.1 per cent,
reflecting a stabilizing international environment
and manufacturing.


figure 1.9: grOwth prOspects by subregiOn, 2008–2013 (%)


Source: Calculations based on UN-DESA (2012).


2012 2013 2014


8,00


7,00


6,00


5,00


4,00


3,00


2,00


1,00


0,00
Africa West Africa Central Africa East AfricaNorth Africa Southern Africa




Economic Report on Africa 2013


34


Growth prospects for oil-exporting countries will
remain robust (5.1 per cent) from sustained strong
demand for oil and high prices. Non-oil activities
will contribute strongly to the economic outturn in
several countries.


Africa’s average inflation is expected to decline
in 2013 as global food and energy prices decline
or stabilize and the effect of the drought fades.
Assuming continued gains in macroeconomic
management, changes in the external environment
will still have a strong influence on Africa’s internal
and external balances. Fiscal budgets are expected
to remain under pressure, though, with revenue
generation posing challenges for governments.
Current account deficits are expected to continue
widening. External capital inflows, including ODA,
FDI and remittances, are expected to fall slightly
unless the global economy recovers strongly in
2013.


… and would be better still if Africa made up
its structural shortfalls


Africa’s growth outlook for 2013 faces several
internal and external risks. Those on the internal


side stem mainly from weak institutional capacity
and huge infrastructure deficits. Also, high income-
inequality and poverty rates are creating political and
social tensions in several countries, including South
Africa, where labour unrest is on the rise. Internal
risks also include political uncertainty associated with
presidential and parliamentary elections, domestic
policy challenges and changes in the business
environment. Armed conflicts threaten people’s
safety as well as economic growth in countries like
the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali. Bad
weather is another risk, as most countries remain
heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture.


External risks relate largely to slowing global growth
(including major emerging countries) and the euro
area debt crisis. A steep global slowdown will affect
growth in Africa through commodity prices, demand
and capital flows—a 1 per cent decline in growth in
the euro area is associated with a 0.5 per cent fall in
growth in Africa (AfDB et al., 2012). Slowing activity
in emerging economies might deepen such effects,
but their likely continued strong growth would help
Africa to mitigate the effects of recession in Europe,
given Africa’s increasing trade and investment ties
with them (box 1.2).


bOx 1.2: emerging mArkets And AfricA’s medium-term ecOnOmic
prOspects


The role of South–South cooperation in Africa’s development process, as outlined in the Accra
Agenda for Action, is becoming more evident and taking centre stage as the euro area debt crisis
looms and some major developed countries flirt with recession.


Although economic growth in the top five emerging countries—China, India, Brazil, Republic of
Korea and Turkey—cooled owing to the euro area crisis, optimism has returned. Growth in these
markets is likely to boost commodity demand, supporting a positive outlook for African economies
in 2013 and 2014, reflecting the fact that Africa is highly commodity dependent: the share of
commodities in its merchandise exports is estimated at more than 65 per cent (UNCTAD, 2012).
China has overtaken the US as Africa’s major trading partner.


The rebound of emerging countries is also likely to boost capital flows, especially FDI and ODA to
Africa, supporting government budgets and boosting investment, technology transfer and economic
diversification.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


35


Notwithstanding the positive outlook, Africa’s over-
dependence on commodities makes it vulnerable
to commodity price shocks. The continent therefore
needs structural transformation (chapter 2) and
diversified products with value addition as a means
of mitigating the impact of volatility and fluctuations
linked to unprocessed commodity exports (chapter
3). Industrialization in Africa can help to cushion
against these effects, although trade barriers
(chapter 2), unsound investment policies and
technological challenges—beyond institutional and
infrastructure issues—will have to be resolved.


1.3 recent sOciAl develOpments in
AfricA


Improving the social conditions of a society is vital
for achieving economic transformation in Africa, yet
the continent’s social development pattern has not
changed much over recent years: positive changes
are still recorded in most areas—poverty, hunger,
education, health and equality for minorities—but
progress is slow and not commensurate with the
strides made in economic growth.6 The achievement
of most of the MDGs (by 2015 as initially set) is also
unlikely. Africa’s labour productivity remains low owing
in part to poor levels of education and high prevalence
of diseases. Low human capital is undermining
structural transformation, and thus critical to
transformation is enhanced labour force productivity,
for which good health and quality education are
critical.


Economic advances are not reducing poverty
as much as they should


Recent data show some slight improvement in
poverty reduction, even though the region will


not be able to achieve the related MDGs. The
proportion of people living in extreme poverty
(below $1.25 a day) in Africa (excluding North
Africa) has been projected to reach 35.8 per cent in
2015 against the previous forecasts of 38 per cent
(UN, 2011). This slight, albeit slow, improvement is
partly attributable to high and sustained economic
growth since 2000.


Ethiopia, for example, which saw growth
considerably above the required rate for eight
years between 2000 and 2010, experienced a
dramatic reduction in poverty, and the proportion of
the population living on less than $1.25 a day fell
from 55.6 per cent in 2000 to 39 per cent in 2005
(World Bank, 2010).


Poverty in Africa is still spatial, and highly
prevalent in rural areas. The non-inclusive nature
of economic growth and the more specific
sectoral challenges—of poor rural infrastructure,
failure to modernize rural livelihoods, little jobs
diversification (for rural youth especially), limited
access to education and pervasive child labour—
are key drivers of rural poverty (FAO et al., 2010).


High inequality weakens the impact of growth
on poverty (Ravallion, 2001; Fosu, 2011).
Further, the restricted range of drivers of growth
exacerbates inequalities (ECA and AUC, 2012).
The world’s widest urban–rural gaps are in Africa:
for example in some countries, women in urban
areas are almost twice as likely as those in rural
areas to deliver their babies with a skilled health
attendant (ECA et al., 2012).


Social protection programmes can help to reduce
inequality by providing transfers (including through
conditional cash transfers) to vulnerable groups
and enabling people to become productive


Africa should, though, consider emerging countries as complements to traditional partners and
export markets, rather than substitutes (AfDB et al., 2011). The heterogeneity of goods and
services traded with emerging economies presents an opportunity for Africa to add value to its
traditional commodity exports. This will require policymakers to adopt better engagement strategies
and incorporate them in their development agenda, synchronizing them at both the regional and
continental level in order to attain lower production costs, better bargaining power, and stronger
terms of trade with both traditional and emerging partners.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


36


members of society, but in Africa at least most
of them have worked through identified groups,
rather than offering more transformative system-
wide interventions. They are also fragmented in
most countries, often donor funded and outside
government systems.


The battle against hunger needs a further,
determined push


The food situation has generally improved
considerably in North Africa in recent years. For
the rest of the continent, the Global Hunger Index
of the International Food Policy Research Institute7
improved by 18 per cent in 1990–2011 (somewhat
less than 25 per cent in Southeast Asia and 39 per
cent in North Africa). As with other indicators, the
regional aggregate masks wide country divergence,
as the Global Hunger Index in some countries
worsened while picking up strongly in others.
Hunger remains linked to poverty, reflecting fewer
opportunities in rural areas.


The proportion of malnourished people in Africa
(excluding North Africa) has stabilized at 16 per
cent, as gains in nutritional levels no longer pace
poverty reduction, partly owing to food prices,
which are still higher than before the crisis (FAO
et al., 2010; UN, 2011). This has an effect on
income and other poverty correlates. Price volatility
makes smallholder farmers and poor consumers
increasingly vulnerable to poverty, because food
represents a large share of the budget of poor
consumers and smallholder farmers’ income. Thus
even short periods of high prices for consumers or
low prices for farmers can lead to poverty traps, and
farmers are less likely to invest in measures to raise
productivity when price changes are unpredictable.
Price hikes can also prompt coping mechanisms
that defer educational and health spending by
households, affecting overall welfare and long-term
development.


Educational quality is a major drawback


Africa continues to make sustained progress
towards ensuring that all children can complete a full
course of primary schooling: aggregate net primary
school enrolment in Africa rose from 64 per cent in
2000 to 84 per cent in 2009. But 18 countries are


still more than 10 percentage points from achieving
universal primary enrolment by the MDG target date
of 2015.


The MDGs emphasize primary enrolment, and most
African countries have done well. The quality of
education, however, manifested by completion rates
and access to educational facilities has deteriorated.
Primary completion rates in Africa are low: only
six countries recorded primary completion rates of
90 per cent or more in 2009. Also, many African
countries have very high drop-out rates.


In secondary and tertiary enrolment, most
countries are making slow progress. Vocational
and technical training—reflecting a country’s
employment needs—also need to be prioritized by
governments.


Health gains have to pick up pace


Health indicators remain the area in which African
countries are making the slowest progress. Maternal
and child health are a special concern for most
of Africa, as are communicable diseases such as
HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis (TB). Whereas
communicable diseases are a large share of Africa’s
disease burden, as countries develop and lifestyles
change, communicable diseases such as cancer,
heart disease and diabetes become more prevalent.
Thus African countries must take pre-emptive
measures to mitigate the “double burden of disease”,
that is, the simultaneous burden of communicable
and non-communicable diseases.


Child mortality


Most worryingly, of the 26 countries worldwide with
under-five mortality above 100 deaths per 1,000
live births, 24 are in Africa. Yet encouragingly,
Africa has doubled its average rate of reduction
in child mortality from 1.2 per cent a year in
1990–2000 to 2.4 per cent in 2000–2010. But
to accelerate progress in child health, African
countries should expand interventions that target
the main causes of child mortality, and intensify
efforts to reduce neonatal mortality (deaths in
the first 28 days of life). The decline in neonatal
mortality is much slower than that among older
children, perhaps due to lack of cost-effective
interventions such as early post-natal home visits,




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


37


and can be tackled if governments and health
practitioners link neonatal and maternal health.


Maternal mortality


Maternal health is still a grave concern for most of
Africa, yet even here the most recent data from the
World Health Organization (WHO) show one of the
steepest ever declines in Africa’s maternal mortality
ratio: from 590 deaths per 100,000 live births in
2008 to 578 in 2010—a 2 per cent fall in two years
and the endpoint of a 46 per cent drop since 1990
(WHO et al., 2012).


Still, the fact remains that that of the 40 countries
classified as having a “high maternal mortality ratio”
in 2010, 36 are in Africa. Some of these countries
are either experiencing or recovering from conflict,
highlighting such countries’ vulnerability and the
need for health infrastructure.


To fast-track progress towards maternal health,
African countries must look at the links between
maternal health outcomes and other social and
economic indicators, such as education, women’s
economic empowerment, key infrastructure such as
roads, telecommunications and transport, and health
systems. It is also necessary to look at cultural
practices to improve contraceptive prevalence
rates, the proportion of women making the WHO-
recommended four antenatal care visits, the share of
women delivering with a skilled birth attendant, and
birth rates among adolescents.


HIV/AIDS


Africa’s progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS is
noteworthy. Although Africa (excluding North Africa)
remains the region most heavily affected by HIV, the
number of new HIV infections has dropped by more
than 21 per cent, down to 1.8 million people newly
infected in 2011, from an estimated 2.6 million at
the epidemic’s peak in 1997. The number of people
dying from AIDS-related causes fell to 1.2 million in
2010 from a high of 1.8 million in 2005 (UNAIDS,
2012). These falls show that prevention efforts have
greatly improved, as has treatment for people living
with HIV/AIDS.


That said, Africa still holds an unbalanced burden
of the global population living with HIV/AIDS: with


12 per cent of the world’s population, the continent
accounted for about 68 per cent of people living with
HIV/AIDS and 70 per cent of new HIV infections in
2010. Women in Africa are particularly at risk—60 per
cent of Africa’s HIV-positive population are women.
To accelerate efforts, African countries must continue
to focus on prevention, especially among women and
youth, and invest more resources into treating people
living with HIV/AIDS.


Malaria and tuberculosis


The fight against malaria in Africa is seeing major
advances. Increases in funding and attention to
malaria control have led to a 33 per cent fall in
malaria mortality from 2000 to 2010—much faster
than the global rate of 25 per cent. Yet although
malaria is preventable and curable, most of the
world’s 200 million cases and 650,000 deaths in
2010 were in Africa. Control strategies such as
spraying and proper use of insecticide-treated
mosquito nets, as well as funding, are crucial.


In 2010, 27 countries in Africa adopted the WHO
recommendation to provide insecticide-treated
nets for all people at risk for malaria, especially
children and pregnant women. The number of
Africans protected this way rose from 10 million in
2005 to 78 million in 2010. A continuing focus on
prevention and expansion of treatment will have
profound benefits, economic as well as health,
given that malaria has an economic burden of
about 1.3 per cent of GDP in countries with high
disease rates.


Incidence, prevalence and death rates associated
with TB remain high and unchanging in most of
Africa. Southern Africa has the highest prevalence,
at more than 500 per 100,000 people, and this
rate has in fact increased since 1990 owing
to continued chronic poverty and malnutrition
alongside inadequate medical attention, especially
in conflict and drought-afflicted countries. TB is


African countries must take pre-
emptive measures to mitigate the
“double burden of disease”, that is, the
simultaneous burden of communicable
and non-communicable diseases.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


38


closely linked to HIV, and so tackling HIV has a
positive impact on lowering TB infections.


TB infection rates also depend on institutional and
socio-economic factors, such as crowded living
and working conditions and poor sanitation. They
are also driven by inadequate health care access
as well as by, for example, malnutrition, diabetes
mellitus, tobacco smoking, and alcohol and drug
abuse. Thus TB’s high and unchanging impact
reflects numerous social and economic issues that
must be addressed in the fight against the disease.


Programmes such as DOTS (directly observed
treatment, short course)—the basis of the global
Stop TB Strategy—have proved successful in
diagnosing and treating TB patients. Properly
implemented, DOTS has a success rate exceeding
95 per cent, and prevents further multi-drug-
resistant strains of TB from emerging.


Women’s empowerment is generally moving
ahead but more jobs are needed for youth


Female gains in education, the economy and
politics


Progress continues, slowly, in empowering
women. Girls’ enrolment in school is one pathway,
building human capital, strengthening capacities
and increasing productivity. African countries
are making good strides on that front, with
the gender parity index improving at all levels
of education. In primary school, for instance,
the index was higher than 0.9 in more than 40
countries in 2009 (90 girls enrolled for every
100 boys). At the secondary level, girls’ improved
access to school is coupled with fairly good
performance in class, as girls tend to perform
better than boys (ECA et al., 2012). In tertiary
education, even though the gender parity gap is
high, female enrolment has grown twice as fast a
men’s in the recent past.


Opportunities are increasing and diversifying on
job markets—more African women have access
to wage employment outside agriculture, for
example. In 2009, 19 per cent of that category of
workers was female in North Africa, but over 33
per cent in the rest of the continent.


In the political arena, in contrast, North Africa has
impressed: representation of women in parliament


has improved in most countries in the subregion,
and the proportion in 2011 was seven times
as high as in 1990. Factors included positive
discriminatory actions such as legal frameworks
guaranteeing seats for women in political spheres.


But efforts must continue, as some countries are
stagnating or even regressing in some areas. Gender
parity is held back by low living standards, and the
gender parity index tends to be higher among children
from rich than poor households. Equally, drop-out
rates remain higher for girls, and cultural impediments
reduce women’s access to the labour market.


Youth employment


Africa’s population is growing fast, but the
remarkable economic growth of the past decade
has not been fully inclusive and has failed to
provide enough decent jobs, contributing to the
Arab Spring—hence the urgent need of attention
to youth employment. The bulk of African
young people are still in school, but decent job
opportunities remain few for those on the labour
market, especially in poor countries. Indeed, in
low-income countries only 17 per cent of working
youth have full-time wage employment, against
39 per cent in lower middle-income countries and
52 per cent in upper middle-income countries.
Youth employment issues also differ across
countries, being more about quality in low-income
countries, where underemployment, part-time jobs
and self-employment are high, and more about
quantity in middle-income countries, which have
higher unemployment (AfDB et al., 2012). These
problems have generated a large group more
problematic than the purely unemployed, namely
the discouraged—people who have stopped
looking for a job and for opportunities to improve
their skills (chapter 2).


Reasons for slow job growth are multifaceted:
chronic, insufficient demand for labour; mismatches
between training in schools and education centres
and skills sought by employers; sources of growth


Africa’s youthful population provides
potential for the continent to reap
dividends, but this can only be
achieved if the continent can create
decent jobs, fast.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


39


primarily in capital-intensive industries such as
minerals and oil and gas; and absence of backward
and forward linkages between these productive
sectors and other sectors. Recent work indicates
that both the public and formal private sector will
have to be supported substantively to be able to
create decent jobs (chapter 2). The informal and
rural sectors present the highest potential for job
creation, and will require government support.


Africa’s youthful population provides potential for
the continent to reap dividends, but this can only be
achieved if the continent can create decent jobs, fast.


1.4 cOnclusiOns


Africa maintained well above global average
growth in 2012, despite deceleration in the world
economy. High commodity demand and prices,
increased public spending and favourable weather
conditions that led to good agricultural harvests
are some of the factors that supported growth.
Improved macroeconomic management and prudent
macroeconomic policies also guided government
expenditure across many countries. West Africa
recorded the highest growth followed by East, North,
Central and Southern Africa. Oil-importing countries
saw their growth rate decline in 2012, while oil-
exporting countries’ growth improved significantly,
largely due to political recovery of the North and
increased oil production in many countries.


Medium-term prospects for the continent remain
robust. Recent discoveries of natural resources
offer the potential to boost economic growth,
on top of the key growth factors of 2012. East
and West Africa are expected to lead growth on
the continent, followed by Central, North and
Southern Africa. However, this positive growth
outlook depends on the ability of the continent to
mitigate several internal and external risks. Weak
institutional capacities, huge infrastructure deficits,
political uncertainties and high levels of poverty
continue to pose internal threats. Externally, a
major global slowdown will leave the continent
exposed to volatility in commodity demand and
prices and to uncertain capital flows.


Despite steady economic growth, African countries
continue to make slow progress towards social
development indicators, especially some MDG
health indicators. And even though the continent
has seen rapid enrolment in primary school,
secondary and tertiary enrolment has been fairly
slow. The quality of education also needs lifting,
as the pace of enrolment has not been matched
by investment in school infrastructure. In recent
years, however, some countries have fast-tracked
progress towards poverty, hunger, education, health
and women’s empowerment. Still, African countries
need to do more to improve the quality of economic
growth, and diversification into labour-intensive
industries has the potential to induce inclusive
growth, employment generation, poverty reduction
and improved social conditions.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


40


references


AfDB (African Development Bank), OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), UNDP (United
Nations Development Programme), and ECA (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa). 2011. African Economic
Outlook 2011: Africa and Its Emerging Partners. Paris: OECD.


———. 2012. African Economic Outlook 2012: Promoting Youth Employment. Paris: OECD.


ECA and AUC (African Union Commission). 2010. Economic Report on Africa 2010: Promoting High-level Sustainable
Growth for Job Creation. Addis Ababa: ECA.


———. 2012. Economic Report on Africa 2012: Unleashing Africa’s Potential as a Pole of Global Growth. Addis Ababa: ECA.


ECA, AUC (African Union Commission), AfDB (African Development Bank), and UNDP (United Nations Development
Programme). 2012. Assessing Progress in Africa towards the Millennium Development Goals. Addis Ababa: ECA.


EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit). 2012. Country data. (www.eiu.com, accessed 15 December 2012).


FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), and ILO (International
Labour Organization). 2010. “Food Prices in Africa: Quarterly Bulletin—December 2010.” Regional Price Update and
Responses, No. 7. Rome.


Fosu, Augustin Kwasi. 2011. “Growth, Inequality, and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries: Recent Global Evidence.”
A paper presented at the UN-DESA/ILO Expert Group Meeting on poverty eradication, 20–22 June 2011, Geneva.


IMF (International Monetary Fund). 2012. World Economic Outlook: Growth Resuming, Dangers Remain 2012.
Washington, DC.


Ravallion, Martin. 2001. “Growth, Inequality and Poverty: Looking Beyond Averages.” World Development 29 (11): 1803–
15.


UN (United Nations). 2011. The Millennium Development Goals Report 2011. New York.


UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS). 2012. UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic. Geneva.


UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development). 2012. Towards a New Generation of Investment
Policies. Geneva: United Nations.


UN-DESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs). 2012. LINK Global Economic Outlook. New York.


World Bank. 2010. Global Monitoring Report 2010: The MDGs after the Crisis. Washington, DC.


———. 2011. World Development Indicators 2011. Washington, DC. (http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/
worlddevelopment-indicators).


———. 2012. World Bank Country Briefs. (http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/countryprofiles, accessed 15 November
2012).


WHO (World Health Organization), UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund),
and World Bank. 2012. Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2010. Geneva: WHO.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


41


nOtes


1 Libya saw a strong rebound at 100.7 per cent growth in 2012, after contracting by 61 per cent in 2011 owing to
civil war. Africa’s growth without Libya was 3.3 per cent in 2012 and is forecast to increase to 4.5 per cent in 2013
and 4.9 per cent in 2014.


2 Excluding Libya, North Africa had the slowest growth (0.6 per cent).


3 The subregion grew by 0.6 per cent in 2012, excluding Libya.


4 Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Libya, Niger, Mozambique and Sierra Leone.


5 Excluding Libya, Africa’s overall growth is forecast to sustain an upward trend: 3.3 per cent in 2012, 4.5 per cent in
2013 and 4.9 per cent in 2014.


6 Many of the data in this section are derived from ECA et al. (2012).


7 The index is a multidimensional statistical tool to measure progress and failures in the global fight against hunger.
It combines three equally weighted indicators: proportion of the undernourished as a percentage of the population;
prevalence of underweight children under five; and mortality rate of children under five.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


42




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


43


Trade, Financing and Employment
imperatives for Africa’s Transformation2




Economic Report on Africa 2013


44


STRUCTURAL
TRANSFORMATION


Economic transformation will lead to
employment creation for Africa’s


young people.


DEVEL


O
P


M
E


N
T S


TRATEG
IE


S


UNEMP


LO
Y


M
E


NT
STRATEG


I E
S


Trading up the value chain
is an engine of economic
growth and development.


Industrialization and
structural transformation


requires domestic
resource mobilization and


access to secure and
stable financing.


Unemployment policies need to
be fully integrated into national


development strategies.


IN


DU
S


TR
IA


LIZATION


RESOURCES


RESOURCES


ECONOMIC
TRANSFORMATIONJOBS




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


45


AFRICAN COUNTRIES NEED TO IMPROVE MARKET ACCESS FOR THEIR VALUE-
ADDED PRODUCTS THROUGH AGREEMENTS WITH TRADITIONAL AND EMERGING
PARTNERS.

THEIR STRATEGY SHOULD AIM TO REDUCE HIGH TARIFFS (ON COCOA TO INDIA,
FOR EXAMPLE) AND REMOVE TARIFF ESCALATION (IN THE EU, FOR INSTANCE).


Restructuring Aid-for-Trade and
implementing trade reforms will


bolster intra-Africa trade and
structural transformation.


AID F
OR TR


ADE


TRADE REFORMS


Africa’s trade capacity
is limited and there is
need to strengthen
trade negotiations
for Africa to reap the
benefits of trading up
the value chain.


GLOBAL, REGIONAL
AND DOMESTIC MARKETS




Economic Report on Africa 2013


46


For the higher economic growth seen in the last decade to create decent jobs, eradicate poverty and achieve broad-based, sustainable
development, Africa needs to industrialize
massively, transforming its economies structurally.


Yet its current trade relationships and composition
offer only limited prospects for Africa to do that,
and add value to its export products. Africa relies
on imported capital and industrial inputs, and
its exports are dominated by low-value primary
products. (Intra-African trade is, though, dominated
by industrial products, but such trade is still quite
low—around 10–12 per cent1—as a share of total
trade.)


Still, Africa’s trade rebounded vigorously after the
global economic and financial crisis. Exports and
imports by value are now at all-time highs, thanks
particularly to strong increases in trade between
Africa and emerging economies in particular China
and India. China has become a strategic trade
partner to Africa, slightly reducing the influence of
the traditional partners—the European Union and
the United States. These three economies together
take more than 60 per cent of Africa’s exports and
are the source of over 50 per cent of its imports.


The endorsement by African Heads of State and
Government of an African Union Action Plan for
Boosting Intra-African Trade and the Establishment
of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) in
January 2012 in Addis Ababa may offer great
opportunities for value addition and structural
transformation. If the CFTA is accompanied by
trade facilitation measures (primarily to accelerate
customs procedures and port handling), the share
of intra-African trade could more than double over
the next 10 years (Mevel and Karingi, 2012). While
the establishment of the CFTA could also support
industrialization, key priorities are improving
infrastructure, building productive capacity,
exploiting opportunities to diversify exports and
identifying sectors with value- and supply-chain
potential in Africa.


Industrialization is costly to finance and Africa’s
economic transformation requires it to mobilize
domestic resources to meet the associated
financing costs given that external capital inflows,
especially official development assistance (ODA),
are likely to decline over time. As government
revenues and private savings are the main
domestic financial resources in most of the
continent, governments need to improve their tax
systems’ efficiency, staunch the huge illicit capital
flight abroad, better capture (or formalize) the
informal sector, eliminate tax preferences, and
improve transparency and fairness in negotiating
concessions with multinational corporations.
Deepening the financial system is critical for
mobilizing domestic savings to finance Africa’s
investment needs.


Using natural resource wealth in oil-rich countries
can help to boost government financing for the
transformation. Governments should also continue
progressively reducing their dependence on aid, as
well as stopping the illicit flight of capital.


Beyond improving its trade and finance, Africa
needs to provide job opportunities to a large and
growing young population. These should be decent
jobs, which it can achieve by enhancing productivity
and competitiveness, strengthening domestic
demand, diversifying into higher value added
tradable goods and services, strengthening social
capabilities, reforming labour market institutions
and transforming social protection.


The continent’s supply-side policy reforms must
be backed by measures to support demand for
domestically produced goods and labour, and
should include improving education and training
policies for skills development and broadening
the social knowledge base, investing in research
and development (R&D) and bringing in advanced
technologies. Well-designed trade and export
promotion measures will also serve to support
productivity and knowledge gains, further widening
options for diversifying and creating jobs.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


47


2.1 enhAncing the rOle Of trAde in
ecOnOmic trAnsfOrmAtiOn


Trade rebounds as Africa strengthens ties with
emerging economies


Latest data show that Africa’s trade—hit hard by
the global crisis—rebounded vigorously in 2011,


exceeding pre-crisis volumes of 2008 (figure 2.1).
The crisis worked through demand shocks and price
movements, especially the free fall (and subsequent
pick-up) of key commodities such as oil. Narrow
export diversification in products2 and destinations3
renders the continent particularly vulnerable to
external shocks, as epitomized by the collapse of
export revenues suffered by oil exporters in 2009.


figure 2.1: AfricA’s expOrts And impOrts, 2000–2011 ($ billiOn)


Years


700


600


500


400


300


200


100


0
2000 2001 2005 20092002 2006 20102003 20072004 2008 2011


Source: Calculations based on UNCTADStat, accessed 18 September 2012.


Exports Imports


Yet, thanks to the pick-up in primary commodity
prices since the second half of 2009, and to strong
demand for African products from China and other
emerging economies, Africa’s exports and imports
increased in value terms by 28.3 per cent and 18.6
per cent, respectively, in 2010 and by 14.5 per cent
and 19.5 per cent in 2011.These rates may well
have fallen by at least half in 2012, owing to slower
global activity (World Bank, 2012).


While the EU and the US together attracted about
two thirds of African exports and sourced more


than half of African imports just 10 years ago, their
influence has been steadily declining over the
last decade. Over that period, emerging partners,
especially China and India, have passed from
marginal to strategic partners as Africa continues
to diversify its trade partners (figure 2.2), a trend
reinforced after the global crisis through investment
links, especially in commodities and infrastructure.
Trade between Africa and its emerging partners has
room to grow, given Africa’s rich natural resource
base and some of these partners’ huge financial
surpluses, notably China.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


48


figure 2.2: AfricA’s mAin expOrt destinAtiOn And Origin Of impOrts,
2001, 2008 And 2011 (% shAre)


Source: Calculations based on UNCTADStat, accessed 19 September 2012.


European Union United States Africa China India Other economies


2001


2001


2008


2008


2011


2011


E
xp


or
ts


Im
po


rt
s


0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%


The continent’s share of world exports has
increased, but only slowly, over the last decade,
from 2.3 per cent in 2000 to 3.2 per cent in
2010. Its total merchandise trade with the South
(excluding intra-African trade) increased from
$34 billion in 1995 to $283 billion in 2008, or
from 19.6 per cent to 32.5 per cent of total trade
(UNCTAD, 2010).


Africa needs better strategies and policies to
promote transformation through trade


Most of Africa’s exports towards outside
partners—traditional and emerging—are fairly
low-value products such as raw materials and
primary commodities, while most of its imports
are manufactured products. In that sense,
emerging markets’ burgeoning demand for
primary commodities may not encourage Africa to
diversify its export composition (and the continent
cannot indefinitely rely on foreign capital and
technology for its industrial needs, as discussed
below).


Hence it must build required capacities to add
value to the goods it produces. As elaborated


later, increased domestic resource mobilization
and staunched illicit financial flows—strongly
linked to extractive and mining industries—have
the potential to contribute significantly to meeting
Africa’s financing needs (ECA, 2012a). Success
will eventually translate into more favourable
terms of trade and reduce vulnerability to external
shocks.


It is equally important that African countries
meet their commitments to promoting regional
and intra-African integration. The share of intra-
African trade is extremely low relative to other
major regions, hovering around 10–12 per cent.4
Yet, as intra-African trade is more diversified and
favours manufactured goods than Africa’s trade
with external partners, increased trading among
African countries has huge potential to support
industrialization and structural transformation. The
low share of intra-African trade also underscores
the necessity to overcome the numerous trade-
related constraints within the continent, such as
tariff and non-tariff barriers, poor infrastructure,
lack of exploitation of supply chain potential,
paucity of productive capacity, governance issues
and instability of security.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


49


A quantitative assessment of the CFTA’s
economic effects reinforces this expectation,
although some economies could see their real
income decline (Mevel and Karingi, 2012).
One of the reasons for this outcome is that
tariff revenues often represent a major source
of income for African governments, and so
removing tariff barriers would inevitably entail
revenue loss.


When specific trade facilitation measures are
introduced, however—namely a halving of the
time goods spend at African ports as well as a
making twice as efficient customs procedures
by 2017 relative to 2012—outcomes improve
greatly. Potential real income loss would be


offset for all African countries when trade
facilitation measures are taken in parallel.


Intra-African trade of industrial goods particularly
would benefit, as trading across borders improves.
Indeed, if such trade sees progress in all main
product categories (agriculture and food, primary
and petroleum products, industrial products, and
services), intra-African trade of industrial products
would be stimulated the most, in relative and
absolute terms (table 2.2).7,8 The full removal of
tariff barriers accompanied by trade facilitation
measures would bring the share of industrial
commodities in intra-African trade to about 70
per cent, offering greater opportunities for value
addition.


Continental Free Trade Area and trade facilitation


Steps have already been taken on this. African
Heads of State and Government endorsed in
January 2012 an African Union (AU) Action Plan
for Boosting Intra-African Trade and Fast Tracking
the Establishment of the CFTA (Assembly/AU/
Dec.426 XIX) by 2017.5 This decision is of utmost
importance as it aims to reinforce trade relationships


among African economies, focusing on a few
activities for seven key priority clusters: trade policy,
trade facilitation, productive capacity, trade-related
infrastructure, trade finance, trade information and
factor market integration.6 AU member States hope
that such measures will help to double the share of
intra-African trade by 2022 (table 2.1), assuming
trade facilitation measures; without the latter, the
gain would be only half as large.


2012 2022


Without trade
reform


After CFTA reform
implemented


After CFTA reform implemented and
complemented by Trade Facilitation measures


10,2 10.6 15.5 21.9


tAble 2.1: trAde refOrms And shAre Of intrA-AfricAn trAde in tOtAl, 2012
And 2022 (%)


Source: Mevel and Karingi (2012).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


50


2012 2022


product category


measure


Without trade reform After CFTA reform but
no trade facilitation


measures


After CFTA reform
and trade facilitation


measures


Agricolture and food
products


17,9 16,3 16,3 12,4


Primary and petroleum
products


18,5 18,4 16,9 15,6


Industrial products 59,3 60,7 62,7 69,4


Services 4,3 4,7 4,1 2,7


tAble 2.2: trAde refOrms And intrA-AfricAn trAde structure by mAin
prOduct cAtegOries, 2012 And 2022


Source: Mevel and Karingi (2012).


Although this analysis did not highlight services
(owing to lack of data), these steps are critical
in promoting value addition of intra-African
trade. Arnold et al. (2006) found that improved
access to reliable and affordable services
such as telecommunications, financial services
and energy was associated with “significant
positive trends in manufacturing performance”
in 10 African countries. Information and
communications technology is crucial for rapid
diffusion of knowledge (Hoekman and Mattoo,
2011) and for effective communication (Arnold
et al., 2006). Therefore, the efficiency of that
sector (and most other services sectors) through
healthy competition and appropriate regulatory
frameworks is important. Overall, though, much
needs to be done for the CFTA and trade
facilitation to bring the needed changes in volume
and composition of intra-African trade, as now
analysed in three areas.


Facilitating trade and upgrading infrastructure
through Aid for Trade


Implementing trade facilitation measures and
improving infrastructure are extremely costly.
The Programme for Infrastructure Development
in Africa, for example, has identified 51 priority
projects for 2012–2020, estimated at $70 billion.9


Aid for Trade (AfT) can be instrumental in
supporting Africa’s efforts to secure funding in
these areas. Africa has been the primary recipient
of AfT with about $17.4 billion in commitments
(42.2 per cent of total AfT commitments to the
world) in 2010. However, the share of trade
facilitation support in total AfT commitments
remains marginal: in 2010, only 1.2 per cent of
total AfT commitments to Africa were devoted to
trade facilitation.10 That share must increase, to
boost intraregional trade.


At the same time, other sources of funding
must also be explored, including public–private
partnerships in infrastructure financing, as well as a
special continental fund for such financing and for
trade facilitation.


Diversifying exports


With exceptions, export diversification remains
weak in most African countries, and the continent
lags far behind other major regions (figure 2.3).11
There is a strong positive correlation between
intra-industry trade and export diversification by
destination and product (Ofa et al., (2012). This
suggests that export diversification could be
achieved through increased exports of old products
to new markets, through export of new products to




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


51


old and new markets, and through increased trade
of similar but differentiated products (products
from the same industry but differentiated according
to quality or final use) to both old and new
destinations.


Increasingly diversified trade can help to transform
African economies by shifting resources from
low- to high-productivity activities and by exploring


new sectors with potential dynamic comparative
advantage, instead of their continuing to rely on
sectors with static comparative advantage, as old
trade theory suggests. This will require effective
industrial policy frameworks to allow countries
to identify sectors with dynamic comparative
advantage and supply chain potential, and thus
support investment in new and differentiated
products that meet quality standards.


figure 2.3: expOrt diversificAtiOn by mAin regiOn, 1998–2009


Years


0.50


0.40


0.30


0.20


0.10


0
1995 1997 2005 20091999 20072001 2003 2011


Source: Calculations based on UNCTADStat,http://unctadstat.unctad.org/ReportFolders/reportFolders.aspx, accessed 19 September 2012.


Note: The higher the normalized Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, the lower the export diversification.


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Developing
economies: Africa


Transition
economies


Developing
economies: Oceania


Developing
economies: America


Developing
economies: Asia


Developed
economies


Export diversification will also require investment in
human capital, R&D, scientific and technological
innovation and entrepreneurship. Concrete
incentive mechanisms directly fostering higher-
value output should be introduced. For instance,
a clear policy on duty-exemption for capital
machinery would facilitate access to imported
capital goods and favour technological upgrading,


with beneficial effects on domestic production and
value addition. A more specific example comes
from Ethiopia, where the government provided
incentives to floriculture exporters through export
credit guarantees and foreign exchange retention
schemes, making the country the world’s fifth-
biggest cut-flower exporter by 2007 (UNIDO and
UNCTAD, 2011).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


52


Enforcing regional and subregional decisions


All African countries should make concerted efforts
to rapidly implement regional and subregional
decisions aimed at overcoming trade-related
constraints. These endeavours must be supported
by specific measures including:12 a comprehensive
programme of capacity building to assist the eight
AU-recognized regional economic communities
that may be having difficulty in meeting the target
date for concluding their free trade agreements
(FTAs) to ensure that they can be ready for the
CFTA;13 measures to reduce border-crossing times
towards international standards by setting up
one-stop border-posts; a comprehensive industrial
policy that includes industrial performance criteria,
addresses structural changes, narrows the
technological gaps of domestic with foreign firms
and forges agricultural links with industry and the
private sector; and establishment of an African
Infrastructure Fund as a special-purpose vehicle
co-guaranteed by member States. Governments
should also found special banks for small and
medium-sized enterprises.


Boosting the development impact of trade
negotiations


Parallel to regional integration, African countries
are negotiating trade agreements with countries
outside the continent: the African Growth and
Opportunity Act (AGOA), Economic Partnership
Agreements and the multilateral trade negotiations
under the aegis of the World Trade Organization
(WTO).


African Growth and Opportunity Act


AGOA was enacted by the US President on 2
October 2000 for eight years, but was extended in


2004 until 30 September 2015. In principle, AGOA
grants duty-free access for selected exports from
African countries (excluding North Africa) to the
US. More specifically it adds about 1,800 eligible
product lines to the US Generalized System of
Preferences, which already grants duty-free access
for nearly 4,600 export products from developing
countries to the US.14


In 2012, three developments stood out. First, South
Sudan, which had proclaimed its independence in
2011, became the 41st AGOA-eligible country on
26 March.


Second, the third-country fabric provision, set to
expire on 30 September 2012, was extended on
2 August until 30 September 2015. This is crucial
as the provision allows 2715 of the 41 countries to
source raw material from third countries—including,
critically, China—for making clothing that can then
be exported duty-free to the US.16 The third-country
fabric provision has allowed textile and apparel
exports from African countries to the US to be
particularly successful, accounting for more than 48
per cent of total non-oil trade exports from AGOA
countries in 2001–2011.17 It has also created about
300,000 direct jobs (ACTIF, 2011) and indirect jobs
of possibly twice that.


The trends in figure 2.4 can be explained as
follows. On 1 January 2005, quotas imposed on
developing countries’ exports of textiles and apparel
to developed countries were removed when the
Multifibre Arrangement expired, offsetting part of
the preference margin granted to African countries
under AGOA, and resulting in fierce competition
from Asian economies that were particularly efficient
in textiles and apparel. Then in 2008–2010, the
global crisis reduced US demand, which picked up
as the crisis eased.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


53


figure 2.4: us impOrts Of textiles And AppArel frOm AgOA cOuntries, 2001–
2011 ($ billiOn)


Years


1.6


1.4


1.2


1


0.8


0.6


0.4


0.2


0


2001 2002 2008 201020042003 20092005 20072006 2011


Source: Calculations based on US International Trade Commission, DataWeb, http://dataweb.usitc.gov/, accessed 20 September 2012.


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Many argue that without the third-country fabric
provision, textile and apparel exports from
AGOA countries to the US could have simply
disappeared after the Multifibre Arrangement
expired, with potential devastating impacts on
jobs across the continent. The recent extension
is therefore a great relief to the countries that
benefit.


Unfortunately, AGOA’s benefits are concentrated
in only a few countries and products, giving little
impetus to export diversification, overall value addition
or industrialization. In 2011, textiles and apparel
accounted for only 4 per cent of exports from AGOA
countries to the US, against 85 per cent for oil (table
2.3). Oil producers unsurprisingly head the list, while
South Africa exports mainly motor vehicles and
Lesotho textiles and apparel.


tAble 2.3: shAre Of tOp five expOrting cOuntries And tOp five expOrt
prOducts in AfricA’s expOrts tO the us under AgOA, 2011 (%)


Source: Calculations based on the US International Trade Commission, DataWeb,http://dataweb.usitc.gov/, accessed 20 September 2012.


top five exported products


Oil 85,1


Motor Vehicles 7,1


Textile and apparel 4,3


Iron and steel 1,2


Fruit and nuts 0,6


Total 98,3


top five exporting countries


Nigeria 50,1


Angola 29,8


South Africa 9,6


Congo 2,4


Lesotho 1,8


Total 93,7




Economic Report on Africa 2013


54


The third development came during AGOA’s Annual
Forum in June 2012, where African countries
expressed their wish to see AGOA extended up
to 2025 but with a broader product and country
coverage. They also lobbied for measures to
improve infrastructure development, as numerous
trade-related constraints prevent Africa from fully
benefiting from AGOA.


The US did not rule out extending AGOA but
emphasized that it was not designed to run for
ever and that other US–African trade relationships
should be envisaged. Besides, AGOA is not WTO
compatible (it does not comply with the reciprocity


and non-discrimination clauses). Though AGOA
currently enjoys a WTO waiver, it is uncertain
whether WTO will extend it beyond 30 September
2015.


Economic Partnership Agreements


On 14 May 2012, the first Economic Partnership
Agreement (EPA) between the EU and an African
region came into effect: four countries from the
Eastern and Southern African regional negotiating
group (one of five) have started implementing
their agreement. Other groups are still negotiating
(box 2.1).


bOx 2.1: epAs in eArly 2013


As of 21January 2013 only Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe had an EPA in
force. Côte d’Ivoire from the West African region; Cameroon from the Central African region;
and Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland from the Southern African Development
Community had signed “stepping stone” or interim EPAs, although the agreements were not yet in
effect.


Seven others—Ghana from the West African region; Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and
Tanzania from the East African Community; and Namibia from the Southern African Development
Community—have initialled EPAs but have not signed them. The remaining countries have not
made any official commitments towards ratifying EPAs.


At least five outstanding issues deter African
countries from officially engaging in or finalizing
EPAs: the WTO’s most-favoured-nation clause,
which requires preferences granted outside EPAs
also to be granted within the agreement; export
taxes are prohibited in EPAs, but not by WTO; a
non-execution clause in EPAs, which envisages
unilateral trade sanctions for political violations
(such as no respect of human rights or democratic
principles); the notion of “economic development
and cooperation” under EPAs, as this could
potentially limit policy space for Africa’s moves to
industrialize and transform structurally; and potential
conflicts over regional integration, because the five
regional negotiating groups, which must establish
regional FTAs, do not match the eight regional
economic communities, which must also form
regional FTAs and which are intended to be the
building blocks for regionally integrating Africa.


To accelerate EPA negotiations, the European
Commission announced towards the end of 2011
that all middle-income African countries not having
ratified their EPAs by January 2014 would lose
their Market Access Regulation preferences. This
implies that exports from the countries that have
not ratified their EPAs by the indicated deadline will
face tariff barriers in the EU Generalized System of
Preferences.


Africa’s least developed countries(LDCs) will,
however, continue enjoying preferences, owing to
the Everything But Arms initiative: thus 33 of these
countries will keep their preferential access to the
EU even if they do not ratify their EPAs by 2014,
while African non-LDCs that fail to ratify the EPAs
by that date will experience a differential treatment
as they compete with other developing countries
under the EU Generalized System of Preferences.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


55


World Trade Organization negotiations


WTO negotiations saw a change of focus in
2012 as trade facilitation came to the fore,
relegating major topics such as agriculture and
non-agriculture market access. Discussions
on trade facilitation started at the Singapore
Ministerial Conference in December 1996 and
were integrated into the current, Doha Round
in July 2004. Still, as negotiations were stalled
by disagreement over the special safeguard
mechanism (on special and differential treatment)
between the US, China and India in July 2008, trade
facilitation can be seen as a possible way out.18


Trade facilitation measures negotiated at WTO seem
to require more support from developed countries
than developing ones. Although technical assistance
and capacity building are envisaged by WTO to help
developing countries ease trade across borders,
African countries—particularly least developed
ones—have concerns over appropriate funding
mechanisms (loans, grants and so on). They are also
concerned that the strong focus on trade facilitation
could divert WTO negotiations from other issues of
importance to Africa, such as LDC packages, cotton,
and special and differential treatment.


Trade negotiations on market access for LDCs
received a boost when China recently indicated at
the WTO that it would gradually expand its duty-
free treatment for LDC exports, from the 60 per
cent of tariff lines originally stipulated in 2010, to
95 per cent. A similar measure by India, gradually
granting duty-free access to LDC exports for 85
per cent of its tariff lines, should become fully
operational this year.


Coherence


To ensure a measure of coherence among the
above initiatives and trade agreements, and
their alignment with moves to foster structural
transformation, African countries should ensure
that the outcomes of the Doha Development
Agenda and those of EPA and renewed AGOA
negotiations are: mutually supportive; do not
pre-empt them from engaging in regional trade
agreements or from designing industrial policies
that seek commodity-based industrialization and
value addition on the continent; and help their
economies to meet potential adjustment costs.


Preference erosion is one key issue. In the US,
for example, African countries may see their
preference margin shrink against those of Asian
LDCs, in that the latter are allowed duty-free
and quota-free access as part of a—so far
hypothetical—“early harvest package” of the
WTO negotiations, which may affect African
textiles and clothing disproportionately. Rules of
origin are another key issue. In AGOA and the
EPAs, current rules of origin constrain countries
from sourcing inputs from the region and from
benefiting from value-chain creation across
African borders. Also at issue are standards,
sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and other
technical barriers to trade, which are so restrictive
and demanding that African countries cannot
comply with them and therefore cannot access
existing preferences under them.


Policy imperatives


National industrial policy and regional integration
are critical. The discussion above underscores
African countries’ need to broaden their
production base and diversify exports in products
and markets—if they are to make trade an engine
of growth and development. Diversifying in this
way will support, and benefit from, efforts made
by African countries and regional economic
communities to implement the CFTA, boosting
intra-African trade.


Indeed, the endorsement by the African Heads
of State and Government of the CFTA may
provide a vehicle for long-term growth and
structural transformation through trade facilitation,
allowing—on an optimistic scenario—the share
of intra-African trade to double in 10 years, and
raising the proportion of manufactured products
in such trade significantly, on the assumption of


African countries should ensure that
the outcomes of the Doha Development
Agenda and those of EPA and renewed
AGOA negotiations are: mutually
supportive; do not pre-empt them
from engaging in regional trade
agreements or from designing industrial
policies that seek commodity-based
industrialization and value addition on
the continent; and help their economies
to meet potential adjustment costs.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


56


adequate reforms and investment in infrastructure
and productive capacity. Part of this investment
could come from more AfT bankable projects that
African countries should develop, refocusing existing
AfT on trade facilitation.


For small African countries where domestic markets
are limited, access of firms to international markets
and establishing long-term trading relationships
are important, as they allow countries to enhance
economies of scale (ILO, 2011a).


Finally, African countries should continue to work
together and commit to a unified framework to
ensure that trade negotiations and agreements with
traditional and emerging partners are consistent
with their own development objectives; and that they
are afforded adequate policy space as they design
policies supportive of their economic transformation
through commodity-based industrialization.


2.2 finAncing AfricA’s
industriAlizAtiOn And ecOnOmic
trAnsfOrmAtiOn


To industrialize and structurally transform its
economies, Africa has to ensure access to
stable private and public financing. Even with
good economic performance since the turn
of the century, Africa’s financing gap remains
huge, caused by imbalances between exports
and imports, between resource inflows and debt
payments, and more important between domestic
savings and domestic investment needs (ECA
and AUC, 2012). Filling this gap has long been
a preoccupation for African policymakers and
their development partners, and they have taken
several steps since the United Nations Financing
for Development Conference in Monterrey
in 2002 to enhance external and domestic
resources (box 2.2).


bOx 2.2: the mOnterrey cOnsensus


This consensus identifies six core areas through which developing countries can mobilize
development finance: international trade; international resources; sustainable debt financing
and external debt relief; resolution of systemic issues such as enhancing the coherence and
consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems; domestic financial
resources; and international financial and technical cooperation.


The financing of Africa’s industrialization and
economic transformation has to be increasingly
based on domestic public and private resources.
Industrialization can, in turn, stimulate sustained
domestic financing through increased
income. Yet starting and sustaining a virtuous
financing–industrialization circle require greater
mobilization of savings and a deeper domestic
financial system to ensure adequate access to
long-term financing for new investment.


External finance is too unreliable, and
misdirected


External financial flows, particularly foreign direct
investment (FDI) and ODA, have generally risen
during the last decade, but they are vulnerable


to volatility in the commodity markets and to
economic difficulties in donor countries. Little
has gone outside extractive industries or into
infrastructure and the productive sectors
(manufacturing, communication, transport and
construction), which largely explains these
sources’ minimal impact in Africa. Remittances,
though, may offer increasingly important
potential.


International resources


FDI flows are concentrated in extractive industries
(especially oil). Given the weak links between
extractive industries and the rest of the economy, this
has induced little economic transformation (ECA and
AUC, 2011).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


57


Still, many African countries have policy incentives
to attract FDI, but after attracting a decade-
high of about $58 billion in 2008, they saw FDI
inflows decline to a three-year low of $42.7 billion
in 2011. This fall was largely due to the global
crisis, exacerbated by continuing weak growth in
developed countries.


ODA flows have been mainly directed to social
sectors. Although their quantity and effectiveness
have improved over the past decade, risks remain
high in the current global environment.


Total ODA inflows to Africa, excluding debt relief,
increased in nominal terms from $17.4 billion in
2002 to $50.0 billion in 2011, but they remain
below international commitments under both the
Monterrey Consensus and the Paris Declaration on
Aid Effectiveness of 2005. Under the Monterrey
Consensus, developed countries committed to
increase ODA to 0.7 per cent of their GDP, with an
additional 0.15–0.20 per cent to support the LDCs,
yet by 2011 ODA from most of the developed
countries had yet to reach this level.


Similarly, the Paris Declaration estimated ODA
flows to Africa to increase to $64 billion by 2010,
but Africa received only around half the increase
implied by the 2005 commitments, partly owing to
lower global ODA compared with commitments and


partly to Africa’s lower than expected share of the
global increase. As with FDI, global uncertainties
have raised legitimate concerns over the ability of
donor countries to maintain their commitments.


Indeed, progress in delivering the Paris and
Monterrey commitments has been slow, signalling
the need to change the delivery of aid. Aware
of this, the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid
Effectiveness (Busan, Republic of Korea, 29
November–1 December 2011) adopted the
Busan Partnership for Effective Development
Cooperation, making a key shift from aid
effectiveness to wider development effectiveness.
The main argument is that, although ODA is one of
the sources for financing Africa’s development, it
should be placed in the broader context to support
capacity development and domestic resource
mobilization.


Remittances present a different picture. They
have surged over the past decade, and annual
inflows to Africa are estimated to reach $60 billion
by 2014, from $11.4 billion in 2000. Therefore,
despite malaise in the developed countries—their
major source—and the impact on migrants’ jobs,
remittances present an opportunity for many
African countries to raise external capital. More
serious policy efforts are needed, however, to
maximize the potential gains (box 2.3).


bOx 2.3: AfricAn uniOn cOmmissiOn initiAtive On remittAnces


Workers’ remittances far exceed ODA for Africa, and for many individual African countries they
exceed FDI as well. But with ODA and FDI flows under pressure from the crisis, remittances are
a lifeline for tens of millions of African families. They have yet to reach their full development
potential though, partly because they are not fully quantified. Remittances to and within the
continent are still vastly undercounted, and transaction costs are the most expensive in the world
by a wide margin.


The African Institute for Remittances (AIR) was conceived by the African Union Commission to
help fill this knowledge gap. The Executive Council of the AU has acknowledged that the AIR will
help to leverage remittances for Africa’s social and economic development.


The 19th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government in July
2012endorsed the establishment of the AIR. Preparations have been finalized to set up the AIR
with the aim of improving statistical measurement of remittance flows, lowering their transaction
costs and leveraging their potential.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


58


year 2000 2005 2008 2009 2010 2011


Africa 53.6 33.9 20.4 23.7 23.1 20.6


Central Africa 112.8 54.3 21.3 24.5 17.0 14.3


Eastern Africa 88.0 62.6 33.2 35.7 31.4 32.3


Northern Africa 41.8 29.0 16.9 20.0 20.8 15.6


Southern Africa 34.5 25.9 24.4 27.4 27.9 26.7


West Africa 94.3 41.3 16.7 19.9 16.9 16.2


tAble 2.4: trends in externAl debt (% Of gni)


Source: Calculations based on World Bank World Development Indicators (2012), http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/world-development-indicators,
accessed 29 January 2013.


Debt relief


Africa’s external debt has fallen since 2002,
especially after the Heavily Indebted Poor
Countries (HIPC) Initiative, the Multilateral
Debt Relief Initiative and the Paris Club’s Evian
Approach for non-HIPC countries’ debt relief.


As a share of gross national income (GNI), it fell
from 53.5 per cent in 2000 to 20.6 per cent in
2011, or well below the 50 per cent sustainability
threshold, an aggregate trend reflected in all five
subregions (table 2.4). Improved macroeconomic
management in many African countries also
played a role.


Systemic issues


The global crisis revealed weaknesses in the
international financial architecture and prompted
strident calls for reform. A key weakness in
the system has been that, although developing
countries in general—and African countries in
particular—are increasingly affected by global
shocks, they remain heavily underrepresented
in global economic and financial institutions,
including the International Monetary Fund, World
Bank, WTO, Bank for International Settlements
and G-20.


Mobilizing domestic resources is essential for
Africa’s industrialization


The above trends have put the spotlight on African
countries’ need to mobilize their domestic resources
for industrialization, long-term economic growth
and structural transformation. A domestic-oriented


approach has long been recognized by African
governments as effective to finance sustained growth
and development, as it is less volatile and more stable
than external financing. It also allows for country
ownership of development policies and outcomes.


Massive increases in domestic savings needed to
boost domestic investment and industrialization


Industrialization is costly and requires strong
support from the financial system. Ever since the
United Kingdom became the first industrialized
country, characterized by the highest capital
intensity and productivity in the world, heavy
capital investments have been the common
catch-up strategy for latecomers like the US,
Germany and Japan (Wolff, 1991).


In the same vein, the experience of the
newly industrialized economies in South-east
Asia demonstrates an even stronger role of




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


59


gross capital formation gross domestic saving


2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010


Africa 21.4 23.5 24.8 24.5 23.7 23.8 24.0 24.4 19.3 20.7


East Asia and the
Pacific (developing
countries)


37.7 36.8 38.8 41.1 42.1 44.8 44.7 45.3 46.0 46.1


Middle-income
countries (average)


28.1 28.7 29.7 28.4 29.4 31.2 31.1 30.9 29.1 30.0


tAble 2.5: grOss cApitAl fOrmAtiOn And dOmestic sAving rAtes by regiOn
And incOme grOup (% Of gdp)


Source: World Bank World Development Indicators (2012), http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/world-development-indicators, accessed 29 January 2013.


investment. Economies like the Republic of
Korea, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand
all experienced dramatic increases in their
investment rates during their economic take-
off: annual gross capital formation rose from
around 20 per cent of GDP in the 1960s and
1970s—comparable to Africa’s current saving
rate—to nearly 40 per cent before the 1998
Asian financial crisis. China has sustained annual
investment of close to 50 per cent of GDP.19


At present, gross capital formation in Africa is
lower than in other regions and income groups
(table 2.5). When one excludes the higher rate
in Northern Africa, investment in the rest of
the continent is around 21.0 per cent a year in
2006–2010. Clearly, African countries need to
ramp up their domestic investment rates in order
to diversify their economies and catch up—as
many of them envisage—with emerging middle-
income countries.


Africa’s average domestic investment rate appears
comparable with its domestic saving rate, but this
average masks huge differences among countries
and groups—the average saving rate is much lower
when oil-rich African countries, especially Libya and
Algeria, are excluded. This further illustrates the
domestic resource gap that has led to dependence
on external financing. Africa’s domestic saving is
very low compared with developing countries in
East Asia and the Pacific and with middle-income
countries. The financing gap is also huge when one
compares actual with desired domestic saving, that
is, the investment needed by African countries to
achieve their socio-economic development goals
(ECA and AUC, 2012).


Gross domestic savings in Africa reached a
decade-high 24.4 per cent of GDP in 2008, but


declined to 20.7 per cent by 2010, and remained
much lower than, say, developing Asia’s 46.1 per
cent (see table 2.5). This rather poor performance
was heavily affected by global economic
developments after 2007. Private saving remains
low in the majority of African countries mainly
because of low per capita incomes and inadequate
incentives from the relatively few formal saving
institutions, which offer very low or negative real
rates of return on savings.


Efforts to boost Africa’s low investment rates
should go hand in hand with strategies to enhance
total factor productivity and investment efficiency
through, for example, innovation, R&D and the
knowledge economy. Experiences in Africa and
elsewhere show that the quality of investment
is important and that the size of investment




Economic Report on Africa 2013


60


alone may not sustain industrialization. Indeed,
although effective resource mobilization and
massive investment in the former Soviet Union,
for example, generated fast industrialization, lack
of accompanying productivity and efficiency-
enhancement measures resulted in subsequent
deindustrialization (Krugman, 1994).


On the tax front, despite tax revenue standing
at 27 per cent of GDP (well above the global
average) for the continent in 2011, collection
abilities vary greatly, so that for a quarter of African
economies the figure still stands at less than
15 per cent of GDP, the threshold considered
necessary for low-income countries(ECA and
OECD, 2012).


Some of the factors affecting tax collection
in African countries include low incomes that
affect governments’ direct taxation; cross-cutting
structural bottlenecks, including high levels of
informality; a lack of fiscal discipline and legitimacy;
very tight administrative capacity constraints;
excessive tax preferences; inefficient taxation of
extractive activities; inability to fight abuse of transfer
pricing by multinational enterprises; and excessive
reliance on a narrow range of taxes for revenue
(AfDB et al., 2010). The lack of urban cadastres and
population censuses makes collecting urban property
taxes particularly challenging for local administrations,
on top of the difficulties they face in collecting taxes
from higher income groups.


Need to deepen financial intermediation


Financial intermediation in Africa is far shallower
and less developed than in the average middle-
income economy (ECA, 2012b). Recent estimates
suggest that the African average for domestic
credit to the private sector is 52.7 percent of
GDP, while money supply (M2) constitutes 48.4
percent of GDP. However, these figures are
heavily influenced by South Africa and North
Africa (ECA, 2012b). For example, excluding


them, domestic credit to the private sector drops
to 22 per cent of GDP, slightly below the average
of low-income economies (ECA, 2012b).North
Africa and a few individual countries, however—
Cape Verde, Mauritius and South Africa—are at a
stage of financial intermediation comparable with
that of Latin America’s developing countries.


Markets for stocks and bonds can also play
an important role in mobilizing resources and
allocating them to productive investment. Part of
a global trend over the last few decades, several
stock markets have been set up in Africa since
1989. Today, the continent has 29 exchanges, but
only three of them (in Egypt, Nigeria and South
Africa) have listings of more than 100 companies;
at least six have fewer than 10 listed companies.


The total value of stocks traded averaged 51
per cent of GDP in 2005–2010, compared with
20 per cent in the developing economies of
Latin American and the Caribbean, 60 per cent
in middle-income economies, and 124 per cent
in developing economies of East Asia and the
Pacific. In the same period, market capitalization
of listed companies in Africa was double that
of the average middle-income economy (140
per cent against 71 per cent), having expanded
rapidly since the early 1990s.This figure is,
though, largely driven by South Africa, with
other countries exhibiting much smaller market
capitalization (ECA, 2012b,c).


Policy options


To maximize domestic resource mobilization for
industrialization and economic transformation,
most African countries need to reform the
domestic financial sector, address constraints
to mobilizing private savings and tax revenue,
explore innovative financing approaches, stem
capital flight and make better use of natural
resource revenue. Increased mobilization of
resources should be accompanied by measures
to ensure not only increased investment but also
improve the quality of that investment. Steps
to attract regional and international capital,
especially market-seeking FDI, should also be
considered.


Financial market development would facilitate
the effective use of domestic resources (savings
in particular) and their channelling towards
productive sectors. On the supply side, most


To maximize domestic resource
mobilization for industrialization and
economic transformation, most African
countries need to reform the domestic
financial sector, address constraints
to mobilizing private savings and tax
revenue, explore innovative financing
approaches, stem capital flight and make
better use of natural resource revenue.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


61


financial markets are still shallow—dominated
by banks and thus short-term financial
instruments—making it hard for the private
and public sectors to tap their resources. On
the demand side, many small enterprises and
households still lack access to formal finance for
a range of reasons, including cost and lack of
collateral.


As government revenues are the main domestic
financial resource for most African countries,
governments should broaden the tax base
and raise the efficiency of tax administration.
Outsourced tax collection has gained popularity
in Africa over the past two decades to
overcome the inefficiencies and ineffectiveness
of traditional models. It has involved semi-
autonomous revenue authorities or privatized tax
collection. Innovative financing schemes could
include public–private partnerships, sovereign
wealth funds, private equity funds and bonds
targeted at the diaspora.


Stemming illicit capital flight is one of the top
priorities. Illicit cross-border movement of financial
resources in 1970–2008 totalled $854 billion,
with another $945 billion due to other cross-border
illegalities such as mis-invoicing and smuggling
(ECA, 2012b,c). A particularly pernicious aspect
is that in poor institutional environments, larger
capital inflows actually facilitate external outflows
of domestic resources, meaning that efforts to
strengthen capital inflows might end up having
little impact on structural transformation and
development prospects as they may boost capital
flight. Enhanced regulation and internationally
mandated transparency for offshore bank accounts
will be beneficial.


Better use of natural resource wealth in oil-rich
countries can also help to close the financing
gap. To do so, countries should put in place
institutions and enforce the rules to allocate and
manage resources better. The institutions should
ensure transparency of the budget as to how the
government produces and publishes information on
revenue collection, of how the projections for the
budget are formulated, and of budget accountability:
“This requires making substantial changes in the
political economy of public resource management,
to address at core the structural weaknesses in
domestic public resource mobilization” (ECA and
AUC, 2012: 164).


African governments also need to look at regional
solutions. Tremendous potential exists for creating
and expanding access to finance through cross-
border banking and regional financial markets, with
protection for customers and the financial system.
Facilitating cross-border movement of goods,
capital and people is key in this regard. Remittances
should also be tapped, and their role in financial
intermediation enhanced through better use of post
offices, mobile banking and microfinance.


Governments should also continue exploring
external sources to complement domestic finance.
FDI, when oriented towards manufacturing and
beyond resource enclaves, has the potential to
promote skill development, technology diffusion
and much employment. It also provides substantial
opportunities for backward linkages to the
domestic economy, a prerequisite for economic
transformation.


2.3 trAnslAting grOwth intO decent
jObs fOr AfricAns


Growth and employment trends


The strong growth witnessed in Africa since 2000
is catch-up for the lost decades of contraction or
stagnation after the 1960s (ILO, 2011b). But it
has not translated into meaningful job creation in
most countries (see chapter 1), and may not mark
the start of real structural transformation owing to
severe shortfalls in the labour market and in the
distribution of growth.


There is thus a strong case for placing greater
emphasis on pro-employment economic and social
policies and on private sector development to
create productive employment and decent work, as
well as to reduce poverty. Indeed, a consensus is
emerging globally that attaining inclusive and pro-
poor growth that translates into full and productive
employment and decent work for all is one of the
key means to achieve sustainable development, as
recently emphasized by the Rio+20 summit held in
Rio de Janeiro, 13–22 June 2012.


Africa’s population of over 1 billion had a projected
labour force of 419 million in 2012, with a
participation rate of 65.5 per cent of the continent’s
working-age population, 1.4 percentage points
higher than the global average (table 2.6). The




Economic Report on Africa 2013


62


participation rate for North Africa was low at
49.1 per cent, largely due to a raft of economic,
social and cultural imperatives that resulted in a
particularly low female participation rate (24.4 per
cent). But the overall participation rate for the rest
of the continent was very high at 70.4 per cent,


with female participation at 64.6 per cent. Yet this
high supply of labour even during the global crisis
reflects workers’ vulnerability: they cannot afford to
exit the labour market as they have no other means
of survival, given the lack of social security and
safety net programmes.


Africa 2000 2005 2008 2009 2010 2011a 2012b


Labour force participation rate Total 64.6 64.9 65.2 65.2 65.2 65.3 65.5


M 76.5 75.7 75.7 75.6 75.6 75.7 75.9


F 53.0 54.2 54.8 54.8 54.9 55.1 55.3


Employment-to-population ratio Total 58.3 59.4 59.9 59.8 59.9 59.9 60.0


M 69.6 69.9 70.1 70.1 70.1 70.1 70.2


F 47.3 49.0 49.8 49.8 49.9 49.9 50.0


Unemployment Total 9.7 8.5 8.1 8.1 8.1 8.3 8.3


M 9.0 7.7 7.4 7.4 7.3 7.5 7.5


F 10.7 9.6 9.2 9.2 9.1 9.4 9.5


Youth unemployment Total 16.0 14.5 13.6 13.7 13.5 14.0 14.0


M 15.2 13.4 12.7 12.7 12.5 12.9 12.9


F 16.9 15.8 14.8 14.8 14.7 15.2 15.2


tAble 2.6: lAbOur mArket indicAtOrs, 2000–2012 (%)


Source: International Labour Organization, Trends Econometric Models database, accessed July 2012.


a = preliminary estimates; b = projection.


In 2000–2012, the aggregate employment-to-
population ratio in Africa grew slightly from 58.3
per cent to 60 per cent.20 A significant share of the
working-age population is not recorded as part of
the labour force—it is made up of those engaged
in the care economy, students or discouraged
workers. The challenge is to get more people into
the labour market so that they can create—and
receive—wealth.


Men and adults are more likely to join the labour
market than women and youths. The catch-up
process for women is too slow to bridge the gap to
reasonable levels in the foreseeable future, unless
states take drastic measures to increase their
participation in economic activities.


Women’s unemployment rates are more than
double that for men in North Africa, but only slightly




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


63


higher than men’s in the rest of Africa. In many
African countries, youth unemployment rates are
about twice adult rates, and employment quality
(underemployment, informality, vulnerability and
working poverty) is a greater problem than quantity.


Young women are hit very hard, as female youth
unemployment in North Africa, for example, was
a staggering 41.7 per cent in 2012. Indeed, such
lack of economic prospects for youths was one
of the driving forces of the uprisings across
North Africa and the Middle East in 2011. These
events have catalysed policy reactions, with many
governments taking steps to bring youths into
the labour market through active labour market
policies, including supply-side policies that focus
on training and entrepreneurship development
(AfDB et al., 2012). Temporary job creation


initiatives through public works programmes are
also common.


Employment plays an intermediary role between
growth and poverty if it is productive and increases
returns to labour. Sustained poverty reduction
therefore requires a rise in the labour productivity
of men and women in wage and self-employment
(Kanyenze et al., 2011). In many parts of Africa,
however, labour productivity is very low, particularly
in the informal economy where the majority of
workers only eke out a living. In 2000–2012,
continent-wide labour productivity is estimated to
have grown by only 1.5 per cent a year (table 2.7).
This slow growth in labour productivity needs to be
reinforced by inclusive, pro-poor and employment-
rich growth policies if it is to emulate earlier
countries’ success (box 2.4).


2000 2005 2008 2009 2010 2011a 2012b


Output per worker (constant 2000
US$) – African average


2,169.5 2,312.5 2,507.3 2,508.1 2,549.2 2,480.1 2,557.7


Share of vulnerable employment (% of
total)


Total 73.9 71.9 70.2 70.5 70.1 69.9 69.7


M 66.3 63.1 61.3 61.7 61.4 61.2 61.1


F 84.9 84.2 82.5 82.7 82.0 82.0 81.8


Share of working poor (% of total) $1.25 48.7 42.1 39.0 38.6 38.0 37.5


$2.00 68.3 63.2 59.7 59.3 58.6 58.3


tAble 2.7: Output per wOrker And shAre Of vulnerAble emplOyment And
wOrking pOOr in tOtAl emplOyment in AfricA, 2000–2012


Source: International Labour Organization, Trends Econometric Models database, accessed July 2012; World Bank, World Development Indicators,
http://databank.worldbank.org/ddp/home.do, accessed 10 December 2012.


a = preliminary estimates; b = projection.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


64


bOx 2.4: successful cAtch-up


Empirical evidence from successful catch-up countries, such as the Republic of Korea, which sustained
high growth during 1963–1995, and Costa Rica in the 1960 and 1970s, shows that educational
transformation preceded accelerated productive transformation.


In particular, increasing shares of secondary and post-secondary education enhanced the “option space”—
the feasible range of products and technologies into which countries may diversify but have not yet done
so—for sustained diversification into low- and medium-technology manufacturing.


Industries are also important places of learning, where the deliberate and proactive promotion of
technologically advanced and more complex sectors provides opportunities for workers and enterprises to
enhance their capabilities to diversify.


Finally, labour market institutions, training systems and social protection embody the capabilities to
translate employment into decent work, and they accelerate productive transformation because they
provide incentives and pressures to invest in higher-productivity and learning-intensive economic activities.


Source: ILO (2012b)


Without sectoral labour-productivity data, it is hard
to spot whether the growth in labour productivity
is a result of the observed gradual structural shift
of labour from low-productivity agriculture to
services. In 1991–2012, the share of employment
in agriculture fell from 67.1 per cent to 62.2
per cent and increased in services from 24.4
per cent to 29.3 per cent, while staying almost
stagnant in industry at 8.6 per cent (ILO, 2012).
Most economic activities in services in Africa
are characterized by low-productivity informal
enterprises, but their productivity could be higher
than in subsistence agriculture. The entry of large
foreign-owned consumer industries in Africa may
also have pushed up overall labour productivity.


Consistent with low but improving labour
productivity and the slow but steady structural
shift of labour from agriculture to services
(rather than to industry) are the high rates of
vulnerable employment (defined as own-account
and contributing family workers) observed over
the past two decades (see table 2.7). The share
of workers in such jobs in Africa stayed high at
69.7 per cent in 2012,and was only down slightly
from 73.9 per cent in 2000 (the rate was globally
comparable only with South Asia’s). Thus the


decline in vulnerability is too slow to lift the majority
of workers into productive employment in the
foreseeable future. Gender-wise, women have a
much higher incidence of vulnerable employment
than men, throughout Africa.


A further indicator of the low quality of employment
and incomes is an estimate of the working poor—
particularly useful given the paucity of wage data
in the region. In 2000–2011, the working poor
(those under the $1.25 a day poverty line) in Africa
fell from 48.7 per cent to 37.5 per cent (see table
2.7). (But the fall was quite modest in low-income
African countries, implying that if there was an
increase in real wages in these countries, it was
restricted to a very small proportion of employees.)


So, with slow growth in wages and employment, it
seems that the benefits of the pick-up in growth
in low-income countries since 2000 have largely
gone to the profit share in income rather than
the wage share. (In middle-income economies,
however, the proportion of working poor under both
poverty lines was much lower from the outset, and
during a decade of high economic growth working
poverty declined more rapidly than in low-income
countries.).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


65


Key policy options


Key policies for translating growth into decent
jobs must include measures to raise productivity
and reduce informality. Productivity can be
increased by policies and institutions that
stimulate technological upgrading and adoption
of new work procedures through investment in
R&D, transfer of advanced technologies, close
collaboration between research institutes and
the enterprise sector (to support adaptation of
technologies to local needs and conditions),
and skills development through investment in
education and training(closely coordinated with
technological change).


Diversifying—especially through manufacturing—
production and exports into non-traditional,


increasingly sophisticated goods can lift
employment growth, as with investment in
employment-intensive activities with strong
backward and forward linkages to the rest of
the economy. High value added and tradable
services such as business services, finance and
upmarket tourism can also create productive
employment in some countries.


Education and training policies need to meet the
specific human capital needs of labour markets,
as well as support the economy more widely by
developing social capabilities through increasing
the breadth, diversity and complexity of the
social knowledge base. But as countries differ
in their social capabilities, they have different
skills bases and options for transforming their
economies (box 2.5).


bOx 2.5: sOciAl cApAbilities


Social capabilities to diversify, reform and transform are embodied in the country-specific mix
(nature and diversity) of the social knowledge base acquired in social networks, education and
work experience, and in the “collective” procedures or “knowing how to do” that enterprises
and societies have developed in past productive experience, and stored in their routines and
institutions.


These capabilities are limited in many African countries and therefore restrict countries from
entering a dynamic, sustained and employment-generating growth trajectory (Nübler, forthcoming).


In the short term, African countries need to
design and set down transformative paths that
are feasible for their own conditions. In the
medium and long term, however, they need to
accumulate social capabilities as part of their
economic development process.


Further important supply-side measures relate
to industrial policies enhancing competitiveness
through promoting value addition, industrial
policy and development of linkages (chapters
3–6).


These supply-side policies need to be
accompanied by measures supporting
demand for domestically produced goods.
Macroeconomic policies have the potential to


increase domestic demand, including for local
production that, through improved productivity, is
competitive against imports, underlining the need
to boost productivity in the informal sector and
agriculture.


Given the overwhelming predominance of the
informal economy, therefore, governments
should help to accelerate the transition from
informality—characterized by huge decent
work deficits—to formality across Africa.
Policies should simultaneously promote formal
employment; reduce informal employment by
cutting the cost of the transition to formality,
which would increase the benefits of being formal
and increase the costs of being informal; and
raise the volume of decent work in the informal




Economic Report on Africa 2013


66


economy, largely through providing better social
protection.


The long-standing neglect of agriculture should
also be reversed. Both Malawi and Rwanda
have achieved record growth in recent years,
driven primarily by agriculture. At the same
time, intensification of agriculture needs to be
complemented by an increase in productive non-
farm wage employment and entrepreneurship
development.


Extractive industries, which are capital intensive
and so provide little direct employment, can


only help to create jobs when revenues are
invested in labour-intensive higher value added
production. This challenges public and private
investment. Yet resource-based industries
can provide opportunities to diversify into
higher value added activities, as illustrated
by the diamond industry in Botswana where
the government supported diversification into
diamond cutting and polishing (see chapter 3).
In essence, African countries need to formulate
and implement productive transformation
strategies that enhance, in a co-evolutionary
way, productive capacity, employment and social
capabilities.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


67


references


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(United Nations Development Programme), and ECA (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa). 2010.
African Economic Outlook 2010: Public Resource Mobilisation and Aid. Paris: OECD.


———. 2012. African Economic Outlook 2012: Promoting Youth Employment. Paris: OECD.


ACTIF (African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation). 2011. “The AGOA Third-Country Fabric Provision Must Be
Renewed Immediately To Prevent the Collapse of the AGOA Textile and Apparel Industry.” Letter from Jaswinder
Bedi, Chairman of ACTIF, to the United States Government, 5 May 2011.


Arnold, J.M., A. Mattoo, and G. Narciso. 2006. “Services Input and Firm Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence
from Firm-Level Data.” Policy Research Working Paper 4048, World Bank, Washington, DC.


ECA (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa). 2009. “Enhancing the Effectiveness of Fiscal Policy for
Domestic Resource Mobilization: Issues Paper.” Meeting of the Committee of Experts of the 2nd Joint Annual
Meetings of the AU Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and ECA Conference of Ministers of Finance,
Planning and Economic Development, 6–7 June 2009, Cairo.


______. 2012a. “Illicit Financial Flows from Africa: Scale and Developmental Challenges.” Third Meeting of the High
Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, 14–15 August 2012, Nairobi.


———. 2012b. “Finance and Investment: Mobilizing Resources for Financing NEPAD/AU Projects.” Addis Ababa.


———. 2012c. “An African Perspective on Illicit Financial Flows in Africa.” Addis Ababa.


ECA (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa) and AUC (African Union Commission). 2011. Economic
Report on Africa 2011: Governing Development in Africa—The Role of the State in Economic Transformation. Addis
Ababa: ECA.


———.2012. Economic Report on Africa 2012: Unleashing Africa’s Potential as a Pole of Global Growth. Addis Ababa:
ECA.


ECA (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa) and OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development). 2012. The Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in Africa 2012. A joint Report by ECA and
OECD. Paris: OECD.


Hoekman, B., and A. Mattoo. 2011. “Services Trade Liberalisation and Regulatory Reform: Re-invigorating
International Cooperation.” Policy Research Working Paper 5517, World Bank, Washington, DC.


ILO (International Labour Organization). 2011a. Growth, Employment and Decent Work in the Least Developed
Countries. Report of the International Labour Office for the Fourth Conference on the Least Developed Countries,
May, Istanbul.


______. 2011b. Efficient Growth, Employment and Decent Work in Africa: Time for a New Vision. Geneva.


———. 2012. Trends Econometric Models database. Geneva.


Kanyenze, G., T. Kondo, P. Chitambara, and J. Martens, eds. 2011. Beyond the Enclave: Towards a Pro-Poor and
Inclusive Development Strategy for Zimbabwe. Harare: African Books Collective.


Krugman, P. 1994. “The Myth of Asia’s Miracle.” Foreign Affairs73(6):62–78.


Mevel, S., and S. Karingi. 2012. “Deepening Regional Integration in Africa: A Computable General Equilibrium




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Assessment of the Establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area followed by a Continental Customs Union.”
Selected paper for the African Economic Conference 2012, 30 October–2 November 2012, Kigali.


Nübler, I. Forthcoming. Capabilities, Productive Transformation and Development: A New Perspective on Industrial
Policies. Geneva: International Labour Organization.


Ofa, S.V., M. Spence, S. Mevel, and S. Karingi. 2012. “Export Diversification and Intra-Industry Trade in Africa.”
Selected paper for the African Economic Conference 2012, 30 October–2 November 2012, Kigali.


UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) and UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade
and Development). 2011. “Economic Development in Africa 2011-Fostering Industrial Development in Africa in the
New Global Environment.” United Nations, Geneva.


Wolff, E.N. 1991. “Capital Formation and Productivity Convergence Over the Long Term.” The American Economic
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WTO (World Trade Organization). 2010. International Trade Statistics 2010. Geneva.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


69


nOtes


1 See UNCTADStat, http://unctadstat.unctad.org/ReportFolders/reportFolders.aspx, accessed 19 September 2012.


2 About two thirds of Africa’s exports were made up of primary commodities in 2011.


3 In 2011, more than half Africa’s total exports were still directed towards Europe and the United States (UNCTADStat).


4 The share of intra-European trade is more than 70 per cent, while shares of intra-Asian and intra-North American trade
are around 50 per cent, and the share of intra-South American trade is above 25 per cent (WTO, 2010).


5 A full removal of tariff barriers on goods is assumed within the African continent.


6 These activities are detailed in the Action Plan for Boosting Intra-African Trade of the African Union, 2012.


7 As services are not subject to any tariff cuts in the analysis and would face severe competition from the other sectors in
which tariff reductions are considered, intra-African trade for strictly services would increase comparatively less than intra-
African trade for other sectors.


8 Of Africa’s exports to developed countries, 43.3 per cent are petroleum and other primary products; the corresponding
ratio is still 53.8 per cent for Africa’s exports to non-African developing countries (Mevel and Karingi, 2012).


9 See “Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa”, www.afdb.org/en/topics-and-sectors/initiatives-partnerships/
programme-for-infrastructure-development-in-africa-pida/, accessed 2012.


10 Calculations based on OECD-DAC CRS, 2012, www.oecd.org/dac/aidstatistics/
internationaldevelopmentstatisticsidsonlinedatabasesonaidandotherresourceflows.htm.


11 Twelve African countries (Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea,
Ethiopia, Gambia, Mali, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Uganda) are slightly more export diversified today than in 1998 (Ofa et
al., 2012).


12 As agreed in the 2nd African Trade Forum, organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, African
Union Commission and African Development Bank in Addis Ababa, 24–26 September 2012.


13 The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, East African Community, Southern African Development
Community, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Economic Community of West African States, Community of
Sahel-Saharan States, Economic Community of Central African States and Arab Maghreb Union.


14 These lines specifically relate to textiles and apparel, footwear, wine, certain motor vehicle components, chemicals, steels
and a range of agricultural products.


15 Twenty-seven African countries have established a visa system to prevent unlawful transshipment of clothing produced
in non-AGOA countries, which complies with the standards of the US Customs Service.


16 The extension of the third-country fabric provision may also act as an incentive for the growing engagement of China
and other Southern partners in Africa, where foreign firms in special economic zones process inputs sourced in their own
countries, while benefiting from the more favourable access of African countries to the US market.


17 Computation based on US International Trade Commission, DataWeb, dataweb.usitc.gov, accessed 20 September 2012.


18 The special safeguard mechanism aims to provide developing countries with special and differentiated treatment by
allowing them to impose their own tariffs on a number of agricultural goods in case prices fall or if their imports rise
enormously.


19 See World Bank World Development Indicators (2012), http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/world-development-
indicators,accessed 28 January 2013.


20 The employment-to-population ratio is a measure of the proportion of the working-age population (15–64 years) that is
employed.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


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Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


71


State of Value Addition and Industrial
Policy in Africa 3




Economic Report on Africa 2013


72


VALUE ADDITION


VALUE ADDITION


Notwithstanding modest success in value addition and
linkage development, African countries face serious


challenges which require policy intervention.


Changes in the global and
regional production


processes call for
resource-based


industrialization in Africa.


Global, regional and national
dimensions of linkage development


must be reflected in resource-based
industrialization strategies.


RESOURCES


POLIC
Y INTE


RVENT
ION


VALUE ADDITION


LINKAGES


LINKAGES


LINKAGES


RESOURCE-BASED
INDUSTRIALIZATION


STRATEGIES IN AFRICAN
COUNTRIES HAVE TO
CONSIDER GLOBAL,


REGIONAL AND NATIONAL
DIMENSIONS OF LINKAGE


DEVELOPMENT


THERE IS NO “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” POLICY STRATEGY FOR
COMMODITY-BASED INDUSTRIALIZATION.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


73


GVC


IN
DUS


TRIALIZATIO
N


JOBS


INSTEAD THERE IS A CLEAR NECESSITY FOR EACH COUNTRY
TO FOSTER LOCAL LINKAGE DEVELOPMENT AND ACCELERATE
COMMODITY-BASED INDUSTRIALIZATION WITHIN THE
DYNAMICS OF EACH COUNTRY, SECTOR AND DOMINANT VALUE
CHAIN.


Resource-based industrialization will
generate employment, income and dynamic


benefits for African countries.


R
E


SO


UR
CE-BASED INDU


S
TR


I A
LIZATION


JOBSBENEFITSJOBS


INCOMEJOBS


BENEFITS


TO DEVELOP BACKWARD AND FORWARD LINKAGES
FOR SOFT COMMODITY SECTORS AFRICAN
COUNTRIES NEED TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE
TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GVCs AND
THE STRUCTURE OF THE INDUSTRY.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


74


The need for African countries to make the most of commodities for industrialization, growth, jobs and economic transformation is
the focus of this chapter. The chapter shows that
Africa depends excessively on primary commodity
exports, which makes it difficult to create decent
jobs. Its average export concentration index has
increased since 1995. Compared with both Asian
least developed countries and Latin American
commodity exporters, Africa shows significantly
higher commodity dependence, obviously enhanced
by the commodity price boom.


African economies depend heavily on natural
resources, often a combination of soft, hard
and energy commodities. The weights of these
sectors vary among countries, but energy and
hard commodities may hide the socio-economic
importance of commodities, such as cotton in Egypt
and sugar in Zambia. This export concentration
on primary commodities reflects the weakness of
Africa’s industrial sector. Although the continent’s
export orientation and import penetration are high,
exports are largely composed of raw materials
and imports of final consumer goods. Imports of
capital equipment and many intermediate goods are
primarily destined for commodity extraction.


Another issue is that global industrialization has
largely bypassed the continent. Africa’s global
trading links have not promoted the structural
transformation of its economy towards industrial
development. The gap with other developing
countries is not only large, but also cumulative and
path-dependent.


Africa’s industrialization has been weak and
inconsistent. In 1980–2009, the share of
manufacturing value added to GDP increased
marginally in North Africa, from 12.6 per cent
to 13.6 per cent, but fell from 16.6 per cent to


12.7 per cent in the rest of Africa. Some African
countries have managed to develop manufacturing
activities on the back of preferences in third-
country markets, but most of these have limited
scope and size, and are vulnerable to erosion of
trade preferences as trade liberalizes further in
destination markets


Globalization has provided opportunities to Asia and
Latin America to industrialize—and continues to do
so—but in the 1980s and 1990s Africa suffered
the most severe process of deindustrialization in the
developing world. History—and policy failures—cast
a long shadow.


There is strong evidence to show that the root
causes of Africa’s low levels of industrialization and
dependence on primary commodity exports not only
lie in the colonial extractive mode of production
but also—and more important—the industrial
policies executed from the 1950s to the 1990s.
Judgement on import substitution industrialization
(ISI) in developing countries is mixed, but it did
not lead to massive industrialization in Africa. It
is debatable whether ISI failed in Africa because
many governments simply failed to pursue it, or
whether they did not carry out the measures in the
same methodical manner Latin American or Asian
governments did.


In the mid-1980s, the economic situation of most
African countries was very difficult, prompting the
International Monetary Fund and World Bank to
impose structural adjustment programmes (SAPs).
It is now a shared view that the SAPs made African
industry worse off. The SAPs in Africa failed in
their aims: they did not raise productivity, boost
manufacturing export performance or enhance
value addition. But they did hurt technological
capability and skills levels. Today, the weak African
industrial structure has still to move out of the
shadow of those interventions—a task made more
onerous by the new international context.


Changes in global production systems present an
opportunity for Africa. From the 1960s, the world
economy witnessed a shift in how production
processes were structured. Before then, they
were organized within national boundaries, while
trade was at arm’s length between independent
firms. Then, geographically dispersed activities


Africa’s industrialization has been weak
and inconsistent. In 1980–2009, the
share of manufacturing value added
to GDP increased marginally in North
Africa, from 12.6 per cent to 13.6 per
cent, but fell from 16.6 per cent to 12.7
per cent in the rest of Africa.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


75


were functionally integrated and organized in
complex transnational production networks. Now
known as global value chains (GVCs), they link
the different value-added stages—composed of
many activities—required to bring a product from
conception and design to the final consumer
and, finally, to its disposal. Developing countries
in Asia, especially, have exploited globalization
well and indeed benefited from the benign side
by supplying intermediate and final products,
engendering increasing relocation of the
manufacturing stages of consumer goods to Asia
and, to a much smaller degree, Latin America.


Africa must capitalize on its resource endowments
and the commodity price boom. Since 2003, all
commodity group prices have surged, except
for a short-lived period from late 2008 to early
2009. So while in the past African development
plans focused on diversifying from commodities,
they now put them at centre stage. These plans
are tackling issues of investment, labour, the
environment as well as trade. Resource-rich
countries are reforming their tax regimes to
benefit from commodity export revenues, and
must therefore tap the opportunities to pursue
more diversified development paths, including
commodity-based industrialization.


Thus while the booming resource sector carries the
obvious risk of further deindustrializing Africa as it
specializes in commodity production and export and
provides revenues to pay for imports of consumer
goods, its resource endowments also create
opportunities, bolstered by the continent’s increased
leverage in negotiating with foreign investors over
investment. They can also provide much-needed
financing for capital investment, for example
through infrastructure, as well as an opportunity to
intensify knowledge transfer through backward and
forward linkages to the wider economy.


Resource-based industrialization will yield
employment, income and dynamic benefits.
By moving up the value chain and developing
backward and forward linkages to the commodity
sector, countries can maximize direct and indirect
job-creation effects. Provided their resource-
processing industries are internationally competitive
and well integrated in GVCs, exporting countries
can move into higher-rent value-chain links and


extract the benefits of moving up value chains.
For instance, up to 90 per cent of the total income
from coffee, calculated as the average retail price
of a pound of roasted and ground coffee, goes to
consuming countries. This presents an opportunity
that can be seized to improve incomes.


Forward integration confers other benefits. It can
reduce the exposure of countries producing primary
commodities to price fluctuations and thus yield
dynamic skills-migration and cluster benefits of
linkage development. By developing backward
linkage supply firms to the commodity sectors and
resource-processing industries, African countries
can help to diversify their technological capabilities
and skills base, deepening their industrial structure.
Moreover, the natural resource sector’s need
for infrastructure (to extract and transport the
commodities) enhances the potential for linkages.


Linkage development creates an opportunity
to maximize positive externalities derived from
clusters. Supplier and resource-processing
industries’ closeness to the extraction location
generates agglomeration effects. Efficiency gains
for firms in clusters include gaining access to a pool
of specialist labour and networks of suppliers.


Yet critics argue that this resource-based
industrialization is not feasible for Africa. Africa
should ignore these criticisms. The experience
of resource-rich countries shows the possibilities
of commodity-based industrialization—despite all
the criticisms, which run along three lines: that
it is as hard as any other industrialization path;
that commodity sectors are unlikely to promote
linkages and externalities; and that resource-based
industries do not match Africa’s factor endowments.
Yes, resource-based industrialization is as hard as
any other path but still achievable with the right
economic policies. Also, there are many exceptions
to the argument that commodity sectors rarely
promote linkages and externalities, as this chapter
shows. Well-thought-out policies have catalysed
resources in Argentina, Malaysia, Thailand and
Venezuela. In other countries, good institutions and
investment in human capital have paid off.


Africa’s experience with linkage development
has had modest success. Some African
governments have not adopted linkage policies,




Economic Report on Africa 2013


76


forgoing potential opportunities to develop local
manufacturing and services (Morris et al., 2012;
see box 3.10). Others have adopted measures to
promote linkages. However, export bans and taxes
with local content regulations have rarely been
accompanied by measures to support technological
capabilities, skills development and entry into
marketing/distribution networks.


The opportunities for linkage development to
natural resource sectors are determined by
the competitiveness of domestic firms and
effectiveness of government policy. Domestic firms’
competitiveness in price, quality, lead times and
flexibility defines the extent to which they can seize
the opportunity to supply commodity lead producers
or move into resource-processing for domestic,
regional and international markets, or even create
domestic lead firms. Other factors also matter
in defining linkage development opportunities,
including GVCs’ technical characteristics, industry
structure, lead-firm strategies, location, trade
barriers and other bottlenecks.


Continental policy initiatives present opportunities
for regional industrialization and value addition.
In 2007, the Conference of African Ministers
of Industry endorsed the Accelerated Industrial
Development of Africa (AIDA) Action Plan. The
African Mining Vision, which foresees the mineral
sector contributing to broader continental social and
economic development, is another instrument that
can change the situation. Other initiatives include
the High-Level Conference on African Agribusiness
and Agro-industries (3ADI), the Comprehensive
African Agriculture Development Programme
(CAADP), the Maputo Declaration and the African
Union (AU) Summit on Boosting Intra-African
Trade and Fast Tracking the Establishment of the
Continental Free Trade Area.


African countries should consider designing
strategies for linkage to GVCs but each African
country must develop its own commodity-based


industrialization within the specific dynamics
pertaining to each country. A resource-based
industrialization strategy should be grounded in
the reality of each African country as well as the
dynamics of the globalized world economy.


Although Africa has diversified its export markets
in the past two decades, its export composition has
changed little, and it remains highly dependent on
primary commodity exports. And the commodity
price boom can, under adequate regulatory
frameworks, provide additional revenues for
African treasuries and for much-needed capital
investment.


However, if Africa is to achieve sustainable
development and become a global growth pole,
its strong economic growth has to be matched
by structural transformation—essentially
industrializing and raising agricultural productivity,
moving from commodity dependence. So, although
the commodity price boom is boosting Africa’s
economic growth, the continent has to embed
industrialization into this trajectory, and developing
backward, forward and horizontal links to the
commodity sector is one platform for this.


3.1 cOmmOdity dependence


Africa depends excessively on primary
commodity exports


Primary commodity exports have been the critical
determinant of Africa’s economic performance
since it gained independence (ECA and AUC,
2012), even with increasing contributions to GDP
from manufacturing, finance, telecoms and tourism.
The continent’s export profile has not moved far
from the commodity dependence of colonial times,
as discussed in chapter 2. Export dependence
can be seen in export product concentration and
diversification indices (table 3.1).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


77


export product concentration index export product diversification index


Central Africa Southern Africa Central Africa Southern Africa


Central African Rep. 0.33 Angola 0.97 Central African Rep. 0.76 Angola 0.80


Cameroon 0.38 Botswana 0.79 Cameroon 0.71 Botswana 0.89


Chad 0.93 Lesotho 0.33 Chad 0.79 Lesotho 0.83


Congo, Rep. 0.79 Malawi 0.53 Congo, Rep. 0.81 Malawi 0.84


Equatorial Guinea 0.70 Mauritius 0.25 Equatorial Guinea 0.74 Mauritius 0.71


Gabon 0.75 Mozambique 0.51 Gabon 0.82 Mozambique 0.81


São Tomé and Príncipe 0.47 Namibia 0.22 São Tomé and Príncipe 0.56 Namibia 0.77


East Africa South Africa 0.16 East Africa South Africa 0.60


Burundi 0.54 Zambia 0.63 Burundi 0.75 Zambia 0.85


Comoros 0.51 Zimbabwe 0.20 Comoros 0.75 Zimbabwe 0.73


Congo, Dem. Rep. 0.43 Swaziland 0.28 Congo, Dem. Rep. 0.78 Swaziland 0.78


Djibouti 0.35 West Africa Djibouti 0.61 West Africa


Eritrea 0.65 Benin 0.28 Eritrea 0.83 Benin 0.77


Ethiopia 0.36 Burkina Faso 0.52 Ethiopia 0.79 Burkina Faso 0.81


Kenya 0.18 Cape Verde 0.48 Kenya 0.65 Cape Verde 0.72


Madagascar 0.21 Côte d’Ivoire 0.38 Madagascar 0.77 Côte d’Ivoire 0.70


Rwanda 0.40 Gambia 0.25 Rwanda 0.84 Gambia 0.75


Tanzania 0.19 Ghana 0.41 Tanzania 0.77 Ghana 0.75


Uganda 0.21 Guinea 0.45 Uganda 0.73 Guinea 0.74


Seychelles 0.51 Guinea-Bissau 0.89 Seychelles 0.83 Guinea-Bissau 0.75


Somalia 0.33 Liberia 0.50 Somalia 0.70 Liberia 0.72


North Africa Mali 0.60 North Africa Mali 0.81


Algeria 0.54 Niger 0.39 Algeria 0.72 Niger 0.84


Egypt 0.14 Nigeria 0.81 Egypt 0.55 Nigeria 0.78


Libya 0.78 Senegal 0.23 Libya 0.77 Senegal 0.73


Morocco 0.16 Sierra Leone 0.27 Morocco 0.70 Sierra Leone 0.71


Tunisia 0.16 Togo 0.24 Tunisia 0.54 Togo 0.73


Mauritania 0.52 Mauritania 0.82


Sudan (…2011) 0.81 Sudan (…2011) 0.79


tAble 3.1: expOrt dependence On primAry cOmmOdities, 2011


Source: UNCTADStat, http://unctadstat.unctad.org, accessed 20 July 2012.


Note: For the export product concentration index, values closer to 1 indicate an economy more dependent on exports of one product. The export diversification
index ranges from 1 (largest difference from world average) to 0 (alignment with world average). Data for South Sudan are not available.


The export product concentration index (or sectoral
Hirschman index) measures the degree of export
concentration within a country. Industrialized
countries are characterized by values closer to
zero, reflecting very diversified export sectors. More
than half the 53 African countries, however, have
an index equal to or higher than 0.40, and one


quarter of them have an index equal to or higher
than 0.60, marking dependence on a narrow range
of products, such as hydrocarbons in Angola. In
comparison, the average export concentration
indices in 2011 were 0.12 for Asia and 0.13 for
Latin America (table 3.2).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


78


The export diversification index measures the
extent to which the structure of trade of a particular
country differs from the world average. This index
helps analysts to overcome a potential problem
of the concentration index, namely that it is more
susceptible to commodity price variations and so
results in a higher concentration during such booms.
All African countries have a diversification index of
0.5 or higher, meaning they have lower diversification
levels than the world average. For almost a third of
them, the diversification index is higher than 0.80,
far higher than in other world regions (as supported
by the analysis for figure 2.3 in chapter 2, which
shows that the continent globally lags far behind in
diversified trade).


Worse, Africa’s average export concentration index
has increased since 1995. Compared with both
Asian least developed countries and Latin American
commodity exporters, Africa shows significantly
higher commodity dependence, obviously enhanced
by the commodity price boom.


Africa’s highly concentrated export structure is the
result of a historical dependence on natural resource
sectors. Disaggregating the export profile of 46
countries for which reasonably recent export data
are available, we find that in three quarters of the
countries, the share of primary commodities in total
merchandise exports equals 50 per cent or more
(annex table 3.1).1 In a third of the countries, this
share is 90 per cent or higher.


Considering the top three export products, by
Standard International Trade Classification at the


four-digit level, we find the extent of concentration
high not only at sectoral level but also at product
level (annex table 3.2). In more than half the listed
African countries, the top three products represent
more than 50 per cent of total merchandise
exports; for a quarter of them this share rises to
80 per cent or more. In eight countries, one single
product accounts for more than 70 per cent of total
exports. Because products are identified at a fairly
disaggregated level, sometimes two or three of the
top products originate from the same commodity
subsector—the top three export products of Zambia
are copper-based, for example.


The relative share of agricultural raw commodities,
ores and minerals (hard commodities) and fuel is
further disaggregated in annex table 3.1. Historically,
developing countries experienced the rising
importance of food commodities and decreasing
importance of agricultural raw materials (Yeats,
1991), although the latter group are still important
for a small group of countries, mainly in West Africa,
where it represents more than 10 per cent of total
exports: cotton (Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and
Togo), wood (Cameroon, Central African Republic,
the Republic of Congo, Gabon and Guinea-Bissau),
rubber (Côte d’Ivoire) and tobacco (Malawi and
Zimbabwe). While often dwarfed by minerals or oil
in their relative contributions to total exports, these
soft commodities remain important because of their
labour intensity.


Hard commodities are the main source of foreign
exchange in Zambia, Niger, Mozambique, Central
African Republic and Guinea. Fuel is the main


export concentration index


1995 2011


Africa 0.24 0.43


Africa excluding South Africa 0.34 0.51


Latin America 0.09 0.13


Asia 0.09 0.12


Low-income developing economies 0.14 0.25


tAble 3.2: cOmpArAtive expOrt cOncentrAtiOn indices by regiOn,
1995 And 2011


Source: UNCTADStat, http://unctadstat.unctad.org/ReportFolders/reportFolders.aspx, accessed 20 July 2012.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


79


export for Algeria, Gabon, Sudan, and Nigeria.
Notwithstanding some missing data, Angola
and Libya also fit this profile. Diamonds are an
important source of foreign exchange for Botswana
and Namibia, and gold for Mali, Burkina Faso,
Mauritania, Ghana and Guinea. Hard and energy
commodities are generally capital and technology
intensive, and are organized around large mines
and production plants. These sectors are often
considered enclave because of their disconnect
from the rest of the economy and their closer links
to global markets, generally at the lower end of the
value chain.


In sum, African economies depend heavily on
natural resources, often a combination of soft,
hard and energy commodities. The weights of
these sectors vary among countries, but energy
and hard commodities may hide the socio-


economic importance of commodities. This export
concentration in primary commodities reflects the
weakness of Africa’s industrial sector.


Global industrialization has largely bypassed
the continent


Africa’s global trading links have not promoted
the structural transformation of its economy
towards industrial development. The gap with other
developing countries is not only large, but also
cumulative and path-dependent (Lall, 2004)—in
other words, countries in Asia and to a lesser extent
Latin America, building on a competitive and dynamic
industrial base, are moving faster than Africa to
higher-technology and knowledge-intensive sectors.
This, coupled with Africa’s underdeveloped industrial
base, makes it increasingly hard for the continent to
catch up (box 3.1).


bOx 3.1: time tO cAtch up


In addition to the legacy of the colonial extractive economic system, the weakness of Africa’s
industrial development is attributable to exogenous shocks, such as negative terms of trade and
conflicts, as well as endogenous, policy-related ones (Lall and Wangwe, 1998). The following seem
the most important.


The technological capabilities to begin industrializing and the financial resources to finance
manufacturing development (see chapter 2) are often in short supply. Moreover, until the start of
the new millennium, the political instability that characterized a number of African countries added
costs that further reduced incentives to invest in manufacturing.


The increasing concentration of Africa’s exports in primary commodities may adversely affect the
potential for future growth in the region. Indeed, there is considerable evidence that the type of
product that a country exports matters to long-run economic performance (Hausmann et al., 2007;
Lall et al., 2006) although not all manufactures are better than all commodities (UNCTAD, 2002).


Manufactures, especially medium- and high-technology, have forward and backward linkages with
other sectors that may generate positive benefits for the whole economy. Primary products, in
contrast, have production structures that are capital intensive and often poorly linked to the rest
of the econ¬omy. Moreover, primary product prices are set at the world level and are usually more
volatile than those of manufactured products.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


80


Africa’s marginalization in manufacturing GVCs is
evidenced by its trade patterns. Global trade flows
have been increasingly characterized by intra-
industry trade in intermediate goods, reflecting
trade between lead firms—mainly transnational
corporations (TNCs) and retail chains in developed
countries—and their suppliers around the world.
Although Africa’s export orientation and import
penetration are high, exports are largely composed of
raw materials and imports of final consumer goods.
Imports of capital equipment and many intermediate
goods are primarily destined for commodity
extraction.


Africa’s industrialization has been weak and
inconsistent. In 1980–2009, the share of
manufacturing value added to GDP increased
marginally in North Africa from 12.6 per cent to
13.6 per cent, but fell from 16.6 per cent to 12.7


per cent in the rest of Africa. Strikingly, by country
(annex table 3.3), this share contracted by about 60
per cent in Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo
and Rwanda, by about 50 per cent in Zambia and by
a third in Kenya, Malawi and South Africa (although
a few countries such as Lesotho, Swaziland, Tunisia
and Uganda showed positive trends).


Some African countries have managed to develop
manufacturing activities on the back of preferences
in third-country markets, but most of these have
limited scope and size, and are vulnerable to erosion
of trade preferences as trade liberalizes further in
destination markets (Kaplinsky and Morris, 2008;
Staritz, 2011). Even in their domestic markets,
African manufacturers, which mainly concentrate
on light consumer goods and agro-processing, are
increasingly under pressure from some countries
(box 3.2).


history—and policy failures—cast a long
shadow


Globalization has provided opportunities to
Asia and Latin America to industrialize—and
continues to do so—but in the 1980s and 1990s
Africa suffered the most severe process of
deindustrialization in the developing world (Lall
and Wangwe, 1998). What went wrong?2


Import substitution industrialization


There is strong evidence to show that the root
causes of Africa’s low levels of industrialization
and dependence on primary commodity exports
not only lie in the colonial extractive mode of
production but also—and more important—the
industrial policies executed from the 1950s to the
1990s. As with most other developing economies in


bOx 3.2: the AsiAn giAnts help, And hinder, AfricA


Manufactured imports from some emerging countries, in particular China and India, are affecting
local manufacturing in Africa.


In most cases, domestic producers suffer this competition and are obliged to leave the market. But
in some, competition has prompted domestic firms to compete, as in the Ethiopian shoe sector,
while in others it has offered some new opportunities. Indeed, as many emerging economies climb
the GVC they leave space for other developing countries to produce some of their low-technology
goods.


To help their firms exploit these new opportunities, governments need to design and effectively
implement industrial policies that will, among other things, help to improve access to credit and
address the problem of poor infrastructure and inadequate human capital, which currently constrain
market-seeking, or “green”, foreign direct investment flows into Africa.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


81


the 1960s and 1970s, African countries adopted
ISI (Mkandawire, 2001; Galal, 2008).


Governments adopted this strategy largely in
the belief that industrialization was necessary
for development and that their infant industries
had to be nurtured behind protective barriers,
anxious lest free trade increased dependence
on imported manufactured goods. They used a
range of measures to maintain these barriers—
tariffs as well as non-tariff barriers like quotas
and licences.3 It was very common, for instance, to
grant export monopolies to particular firms, while
foreign exchange restrictions frequently imposed
large additional taxes on trade.4


As in all other developing countries, African
governments were keen industrializers. Public
ownership of industry was widespread, public
investment was extensive and a number of firms
were nationalized.5 But unlike East Asia, most
governments did not have the financial and
managerial capacity to operate the enterprises
efficiently (Nziramasanga, 1995). Moreover, the
policies designed to direct investment towards
industry had a negative impact on agriculture by
distorting factor prices and rates of return. High
tariff protection for final goods and subsidized
import of foreign capital goods were incentives to
expand production of consumer goods rather than
of intermediate inputs.


In these circumstances, economies could not
generate knowledge spillovers, which ironically
were one of the main reasons to protect infant
industries. Further, even when foreign firms were
nationalized, technology transfer was virtually
nil because the national technical capability to
absorb it was still very low.6 Relations between
industry and research centres, as in Latin
America, were very weak. In most cases, these
centres were separate from industry and did not
seek solutions to industry’s technical problems.


In the African experience of ISI, state control
of the financial sector was central (with
variations among countries), often in the form
of state ownership of banks and other financial
institutions. State control was regarded as critical
to ensure success of industrial and trade policies,
because it provided the state with the power to
influence private investment decisions and, more


important, to discipline non-performers (Soludo et
al., 2004).


Another issue was foreign direct investment (FDI),
which was almost exclusively directed to primary
and raw-material sectors.7 Many countries granted
monopolies in some areas to foreign firms, including
exclusive exploration rights, sole-supplier contracts
and domestic-market exclusivity (Stein, 1992),
which had the perverse effect of blocking linkages
to the domestic economy.


Judgement on ISI in developing countries is
mixed, but the policy did not lead to massive
industrialization in Africa. It is debatable whether ISI
failed in Africa because many governments simply
failed to pursue it, or whether they did not carry out
the measures in the same methodical manner Latin
American or Asian governments did (Riddell, 1990).


Structural adjustment


In the mid-1980s, the economic situation of most
of African countries was very difficult, prompting
the International Monetary Fund and World Bank
to impose SAPs. The theoretical premises of SAPs
were that markets are efficient, but government
interventions are inefficient because they distort
market signals; and that governments should
manage the macro economy and improve general
education and infrastructure, while the free market
eliminated inefficient firms, releasing productive
resources for other, more efficient, firms. The theory
was that Africa would expand its agricultural and
extractive mineral commodity sectors because those
were the sectors with comparative advantages.


All the ISI apparatus was eliminated, as were the
measures to protect the domestic market—tariffs
and quantitative restrictions on imports, price
controls and subsidies, and credit ceilings. SAPs
were successful in liberalizing trade and the financial
sector, privatizing public enterprises and inducing
massive currency devaluations in most African
countries (Ogbu et al., 1995). But there it stops.


It is now a shared view that the SAPs made
African industry worse off. According to Lall
(1995), industrial performance disappointed
and many African countries suffered sustained
deindustrialization in the 1980s and early 1990s,
an impact confirmed for several African countries




Economic Report on Africa 2013


82


by Stein (1992), while Nziramasanga (1995) cites
the difficulties of the sugar industry in Kenya and
the textile industry in South Africa and Zimbabwe
in the mid-1990s. All these sectors reduced
output and employment owing to competition from
imports in the domestic market. Ogbu et al. (1995)
argue that growing dependence on imported
goods eroded the weak industrial base of most
African economies. According to Riddell (1990),
SAPs were a major factor that prevented African
countries from restructuring their industries away
from primary commodity dependence.


The weakness of the African supply response
was particularly marked in manufacturing
production and export performance, and even
when manufacturing showed an initial favourable
response, it did not lead to sustained growth
and diversification of production and exports
(Jalilian et al., 2000). Stein (1996) concluded that
economic reforms should have been based on
transforming the economy, and not on retracting
state institutions and policies in such a wholesale
way. The SAP type of adjustment removed
inefficient government interventions but did not
create the conditions for development.


Nor did SAPs solve the numerous market failures
of African economies, such as a weak tradition of
industrial entrepreneurship and a severe shortage
of technical skills. According to some, their
main problem was that they ignored capability
development (Grimm and Brüntrup, 2007, for
example).


Moreover, African governments had, often on
advice from donors and multilateral development
institutions, focused on macroeconomic stability
and institutional reforms to protect property
rights and ensure contract enforcement, with no
coherent strategies to address market failures and
externalities that constrained economic activity.
And while SAPs were intended to attract foreign
capital and, through this, to ensure growth of a
stable industrial sector, this did not happen except
in the resource-extractive sectors (Elhiraika,
2008).


The SAPs had a particularly negative effect
on technological accumulation (Chang, 2009).


Although innovation and growth during the ISI
period were often poor, SAPs did not produce
better outcomes—see Lall (1995) on Ghana, for
example.


To sum up, the SAPs in Africa failed in their
aims: they did not raise productivity, boost
manufacturing export performance or enhance
value addition. But they did hurt technological
capability and skills. Today, the weak African
industrial structure still has to move out of the
shadow of those interventions—a task made more
onerous by the new international context.


3.2 the birth Of glObAl vAlue chAins


Developing countries, in Asia especially, have
exploited globalization well


From the 1960s, the world economy witnessed a
shift in how production processes were structured.
Geographically dispersed activities became
functionally integrated and organized in complex
transnational production networks (Dicken, 1998;
Gereffi, 1994). Now known as global value chains
(GVCs), they link the different value-added stages—
composed of many activities—required to bring a
product from conception and design to the final
consumer and, finally, to its disposal (Kaplinsky and
Morris, 2001).


The crucial aspect of globalization is outsourcing
by developed-country lead firms of labour-
intensive stages of production to countries with
low costs. This was made possible by innovations
in transport (commercial jets, container transport),
communication systems (satellite, facsimile), and
microelectronic technologies, which reduced the
cost and time for communication and enabled
flexible production systems.


By relocating these activities to outsourced firms,
lead firms have moved from ownership of the
production plants and the vertical integration
of all production activities under their direct
company control, but have retained control of
the organization of such indirect manufacturing
activities within the value chains that they drive. In
other words, lead firms have focused on governing




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


83


these value chains, that is, they are the drivers
of these value chains and exercise power by
requiring other firms lower in the chain to meet
their requirements.


The lead firms decide which functions will be
located in which countries, set the standards that
supplier firms have to meet if they are to stay
in the value chain (technical parameters such as
costs, quality and lead times, or health, labour and
environmental standards, and so forth), manage
suppliers meeting these standards and decide
on how to intervene when these parameters are
infringed, all the while expanding or shrinking the
number of suppliers. These activities can lead to
developing-country producers receiving assistance
to upgrade their capabilities to meet value chain
requirements, and so staying globally integrated, or
in their failing to meet these parameters and being
excluded from the value chain.


Milanovic (2003) argues that globalization thus
has two faces: a benign side accelerating the
participation of developing countries into the world
economy with positive impacts on industrialization
and income levels, and a malign side increasing
inequality and leading to major stress on workers
and the environment.


Some developing countries indeed benefited from
the benign side by supplying intermediate and final
products, engendering increasing relocation of
the manufacturing stages for consumer goods to
Asia and, to a much smaller degree, Latin America.
Since lead firms were outsourcing an increasing
number of functions to firms in developing
countries, they also became more interested
in building some of the capabilities of selected
supplier firms.


Lead firms kept control of the GVCs’ most
profitable stages—the intangible, knowledge-
intensive activities such as product design,
marketing and distribution, which had high entry
barriers to competitors in developing countries.
Their support to developing-country firms therefore
tended not to encroach on their core business.
US clothing and footwear manufacturers and
distributing companies, for example, upgraded
their Latin American suppliers’ capacity to


manufacture complex products and manage
the production process (Bair and Gereffi, 2001;
Schmitz and Knorringa, 2000), but did not extend
it to the spheres they regarded as their own core
competence—design, product development,
marketing and retailing.


“Lead firm” is therefore a political-economy term
and not a normative concept implying benevolence.
It refers to the power dimension that it exercises
within a GVC, and the driving role it plays in
setting the rules of the game and in governing the
dynamics between the various links along these
chains. This lead governance role means that the
lead firms may sometimes act to foster the global
dispersion of production to various countries and
upgrade their suppliers, and sometimes to block
upgrading and exclude suppliers from integrating in
a GVC. It is a complex and contradictory dynamic,
which if not understood and appropriately exploited
by developing-country suppliers and governments,
can have harsh consequences for countries
seeking to industrialize.


Some developing-country governments,
especially in Asia, did understand the dynamic,
and adopted industrial and skills-development
policies that enhanced their domestic firms’
competitiveness and, in time, enabled these
firms to take over more complex functions.
As competition between low-cost developing
countries became stiffer, profit margins on many
types of manufacturing activities shrank. In order
to escape this downward price trend, firms in
some developing countries, applying various
industrial policies, managed to move into more
sustainable stages of GVCs. This was done by
upgrading (table 3.3).


Globalization thus has two faces:
a benign side accelerating the
participation of developing countries
into the world economy with positive
impacts on industrialization and income
levels, and a malign side increasing
inequality and leading to major stress
on workers and the environment.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


84


Upgrading implies improvement in production
systems (process upgrading), moving into more
sophisticated product lines (product upgrading),
moving into higher knowledge-content functions
(functional upgrading), or moving into new
production activities (inter-sectoral or chain
upgrading). East Asia’s industrial upgrading has
been the result of a complex process shaped by
private TNC strategies and local state industrial
policies. It often involved domestic substitution
of parts and components imported from more
advanced economies (Japan, the Republic of
Korea and Taiwan, China). The insertion of some
Asian firms into dynamic GVCs in which lead firms
outsourced increasing levels of value-added links
created important opportunities to industrialize,
which governments’ industrial policies enabled the
firms to seize. Although these GVCs were driven
by Northern TNCs and retail chains, the result
was growth in Southern firms’ and economies’
capabilities.


Africa must capitalize on its resource
endowments and the commodity price boom


Africa’s past dependence on primary commodity
exports and lack of structural transformation
must be seen in a context of declining or static
commodity prices. Developing countries found it


straightforward to adopt policy recommendations
that urged them to diversify from natural resources
to industrialize. This was, for example, the case of
Latin American countries that followed the highly
influential Prebish-Singer thesis of declining terms
of trade (Prebish, 1950; Singer, 1950).


But since 2003, all commodity-group prices
have surged, except for a short-lived period from
late 2008 to early 2009 (figure 3.1). Prices for
the metals group have done particularly well,
before and after the global financial crisis. This
was particularly the case after China shifted to
investment-led growth after the crisis when its
export markets in the North shrank considerably
(Akyuz, 2012). Of 47 African countries in
2000–2005, the terms of trade improved for 25,
worsened for 14 and remained almost unchanged
for 8, according to World Bank data that estimate
net barter terms of trade8.


The key driver of the commodity price boom is
China (Farooki and Kaplinsky, 2012). China is also
becoming a key source of FDI in Africa’s natural
resource sectors, a major investment destination for
Chinese state-owned enterprises and, increasingly,
private firms. Until 2005, resource extraction was the
second-largest sector for cumulative Chinese FDI
(table 3.4).


upgrading process product functional chain


Increasing the
efficiency of internal


processes


Introducing new
products or improving


old products


Increasing value added
by changing the mix


of activities conducted
within the firm or


moving to different
links in the value chain


Moving to a new value
chain


Examples Improving quality
control processes in


the plant


A beverage company
introducing a new


flavoured fizzy drink


Moving from
manufacturing to


design


Moving from
manufacturing mobile


phones to smart
phones


Degree of intangible
activities


Knowledge content of value added increases progressively


tAble 3.3: upgrAding trAjectOries


Source: Adapted from Kaplinsky and Morris (2001).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


85


figure 3.1: cOmmOdity price index, jAnuAry 1980–jAnuAry 2011


Source: International Monetary Fund, Primary Commodity Prices, www.imf.org/external/np/res/commod/faq/index.htm, accessed 20 October 2012.


Note: Indices based on 2005 (average of 2005 = 100). Group indices are weighted averages of individual commodity price indices


300


250


200


150


100


50


0


19
80


19
81


19
82


19
83


19
85


19
86


19
87


19
88


19
90


19
91


19
92


19
93


19
95


19
96


19
97


19
98


20
00


20
01


20
02


20
03


20
05


20
06


20
07


20
08


20
10


20
11


20
12


Agricultural Raw Materials Index Metals Price Index Crude Oil Index


sector/industry number of projects investment ($ million)


Manufacturing 230 316


Resource extraction 44 188


Services 200 125


Agriculture 22 48


Others 3 6


Total 499 683


tAble 3.4: sectOrAl distributiOn Of chinA’s fdi stOck in AfricA, 1979–2005


Source: Adapted from UNCTAD (2007).


Note: Based on investment projects approved by China’s Ministry of Commerce. The level of investment realized could be much larger as it includes, for example,
projects that were not submitted for approval to government.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


86


Since then, even larger FDI flows have targeted
services and extractive industries (Cheng and Ma,
2010). These tend to be less risk-averse than
FDI flows from industrialized countries and more
influenced by the policy regime in Beijing (Buckley et
al., 2007). Natural resources have also attracted large
investments from Indian investors, mainly private (Pal,
2008; Pradhan, 2008). Although small in a global
perspective, FDI from China and India grew fast in
2000–2010, India’s by 26.6 per cent a year, China’s
by 91.7 per cent.9


The commodity price boom has implications for
Africa’s industrialization strategy. Given the size of
China and India’s economies, and the fact that they
are in the early stage of structural transformation,
resource demand and positive commodity price
trends are likely to continue in the long term (Farooki
and Kaplinsky, 2012). Yet although Africa has huge
resource endowments—the world’s largest for many
minerals (table 3.5)—its share of global production is
far lower.


mineral reserves production


Platinum group metals 60+ 54


Gold 42 20


Chromium 44 40


Manganese 82 28


Vanadium 95 51


Cobalt 55+ 18


Diamonds 88 78


Aluminium 45 4


tAble 3.5: AfricA’s shAre Of glObAl reserves And prOductiOn, selected
minerAls (%)


Source: AfDB (2008).


So while in the past African development plans
focused on diversifying from commodities,
they now put them at centre stage. These
plans are tackling issues of investment, labour,
the environment as well as trade. Resource-
rich countries are reforming their tax regimes
to benefit from commodity export revenues
(UNCTAD, 2007), and must therefore tap
the opportunities to pursue more diversified
development paths, including commodity-based
industrialization.


Thus while the booming resource sector carries the
obvious risk of further deindustrializing Africa as it
specializes in commodity production and export and
provides revenues to pay for imports of consumer
goods, its resource endowments also create
opportunities, bolstered by the continent’s increased
leverage in negotiating with foreign investors over
investment (ECA and AUC, 2012). They can also
provide much-needed financing for capital investment,
for example through infrastructure, as well as an
opportunity to intensify knowledge transfer through
backward and forward linkages to the wider economy.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


87


bOx 3.3: A linkAge frAmewOrk


A framework for linkage development was created some decades ago by one of the pioneers in
studies of industrial development arising from commodities, Albert Hirschman. He characterized
successful economic growth as an incremental (but not necessarily slow) unfolding of linkages
between related economic activities and proposed three major types of linkage from the
commodity sector (Hirschman, 1981).


The first are fiscal—the resource rents the government can harvest from the commodity sector in
the form of corporate taxes, royalties and taxes on employees’ incomes. These rents can be used
to promote industrial development in sectors unrelated to commodities. Appropriate investment
projects resulting from these fiscal linkages are essential if the rewards are to be reaped and the
dangers of fiscal bubbles avoided. It therefore remains a priority for African countries to ensure
that the natural resource sector provides much-needed financing, that such financing is allocated
to productive investment projects, that risks associated with exchange rate appreciation and
Dutch disease are effectively managed, and that corruption in misappropriating these fiscal rents
is staunched.1 The opportunities of an industrialization path based on natural resources do not
therefore obviate the need for sound macroeconomic policies.


The second are consumption—the demand for the output of other sectors arising from the
incomes earned in the commodity sector. The demand generated by employees in the sector
has the potential to provide a major spur to industrial production as well as all incomes (whether
salaries, wages or profits) earned in the resource sector are spent on products and services.
However, Hirschman warned that, since most resource-rich developing economies had poorly
developed manufacturing sectors, most consumption linkages would occur abroad as the needs
of domestic consumers would be met through imports. The import liberalization of the past few
decades has reinforced this trend for demand to “leak” abroad and for domestic manufacturing to
be overwhelmed by imports.


Resource-based industrialization yields
employment, income and dynamic benefits


Employment gains


The last decade’s higher GDP growth rates
have not reduced poverty commensurately (see
chapter 1), because they failed to translate
into adequate job creation and social progress.
Mining and energy—the source of much of the
growth—are generally less labour intensive than
other industries. Indeed, many African countries,
particularly in Central and East Africa, have the
lowest growth–poverty elasticity in the world
(Fosu, 2011). And not only is unemployment
high—the incidence of the working poor in total
employment is also high (see chapter 2).


By moving up the value chain and developing
backward and forward linkages to the commodity
sector, countries can maximize direct and indirect
job-creation effects. Manufacturing and services
involved in input provision to the natural resource
sector (backward linkages) and involved in resource
processing (forward linkages) are characterized by
varying levels of labour and skills intensity (box 3.3).
This range and diversity of economic activities
offer market opportunities to small and large
businesses, and to many skilled and semi-skilled
workers. Moreover, in soft commodity sectors,
resource-processing industries can stimulate
raw material supply, creating further employment
in agriculture. China’s remarkable success in
reducing poverty provides a good example here.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


88


The third are production—forward (processing commodities) and backward (producing inputs
to be used in commodity production).2 Hirschman argued that production linkages paved a path
for industrial diversification, because he characterized the industrial development process “as
essentially the record of how one thing leads to another” (1981:75, emphasis added). In other
words, successful diversified industrial growth is inevitably an “incremental (but not necessarily
slow) unfolding of linkages between related economic activities.” It is this third set of production
linkages arising from the commodities boom that this report focuses on.


1 Fiscal linkages, as well as broader issues around environmental and social impact of mining, human rights, small-scale
mining and corporate social responsibility, are comprehensively dealt with in ECA and AU (2011). See also Kaplinsky and
Farooki (2012) for a detailed discussion of the relevance of fiscal and consumption linkages to Africa.


2 Morris et al. (2012) add a further category of production linkages based on value chain analysis—“horizontal linkages”—
which is a complex set of linkages made up of suppliers and users in the chain who develop capabilities to feed into other
industrial and service chains. A variant of such horizontal linkages is value-adding production activities centred on using
“by-products” or “waste” from commodity extraction processes.


Benefits of moving up the value chain


Provided their resource-processing industries are
internationally competitive and well integrated in
GVCs, exporting countries can move into higher-rent
value-chain links. This is because GVCs have varying
levels of value addition and, crucially, different entry
barriers: the higher the entry barriers—usually created


by skills, research and development (R&D) and
technology—the more countries and firms can capture
high rents because they have fewer competitors.


As an example, up to 90 per cent of the total
income from coffee, calculated as the average
retail price of a pound of roasted and ground
coffee, goes to consuming countries (figure 3.2).


figure 3.2: inter-cOuntry distributiOn Of incOme (% shAre Of finAl retAil
price Of cOffee)


Source: Kaplinsky (2004) based on Talbot (1997).


Value added in consuming country Transport costs and weight loss Value added in producing country Grower price


100%


80%


60%


40%


20%


0%


19
65


19
67


19
69


19
71


19
73


19
75


19
77


19
79


19
81


19
83


19
85


19
87


19
89


19
91


19
93


19
95


19
97


19
99


20
01


20
03


Years


P
ro


po
rt


io
n


of
fi


na
l r


et
ai


l p
ri


ce




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


89


Until the mid-1980s, the allocation of coffee
income between producing and consuming
countries was determined by two, mutually
offsetting factors: fluctuations in world output,
mainly from Brazil, and export restrictions under
the International Coffee Agreement (Talbot, 1997).
Except for a short period in 1976–1977, producing
countries (growers and exporters) appropriated
around half the total income. This changed in
1987–1992 when the world coffee price crashed
due to the end of the agreement, but retail prices
stayed the same or even increased, shrinking the
income share of producing countries while lifting
the share of consuming countries.


This reallocation was driven by the increased market
power of the largest coffee TNCs, which controlled
marketing and distribution links and were able to
maintain high prices (Kaplinsky, 2004; Talbot, 1997).
By the early 1990s, consuming countries already were
already taking 90 per cent of income.


The diamond GVC provides another useful example.
While much rent accrues at the extraction stage,
the retail value of jewel manufactures is more than
three times the value of the rough stone (table 3.6).
Yet most African producers have traditionally been
excluded from any value-adding, forward-processing
links, including sorting, valuing and grading.


Value added in consuming country Transport costs and weight loss Value added in producing country Grower price


19
65


19
67


19
69


19
71


19
73


19
75


19
77


19
79


19
81


19
83


19
85


19
87


19
89


19
91


19
93


19
95


19
97


19
99


20
01


20
03


stage % of original value


Producer selling value 100


Sorting and valuing 115


Cutting and polishing 127


Polished dealing 133


Jewellery manufacturing 166


Retail 320


tAble 3.6: vAlue AdditiOn in the diAmOnd gvc


Source: Even-Zohar (2007).


Moving up the value chain can deliver benefits
for income, but it requires competitive processing
industries and access to marketing and distribution
networks, as with coffee. Forward integration
confers other benefits. It can reduce the exposure
of countries producing primary commodities to
price fluctuations (Roemer, 1979; Reinhardt, 2000),
which can be very high. In 1965–1987, for example,
volatility for unprocessed primary commodities was
much higher than that for processed commodities
(Yeats, 1991). This holds particularly true for the ore,
minerals and metals group, with annual fluctuations
of 23 per cent for unprocessed material against 13
per cent for processed products. Major gains in price
stability for processed products versus raw materials
are also associated with tin, tungsten, copper, cocoa
and cotton (Yeats, 1991).


For commodity-producing countries, such price
volatility has been more problematic than the long-
term price decline (Cashin and McDermott, 2002).
From the start of the 20th century, price volatility
has involved yet larger price movements.


For African countries, price volatility has serious
implications for consumption smoothing and
investment planning. Indeed some have identified
it, when coupled with capital market imperfections,
as the key growth-reducing factor of resource-
rich countries (Manzano and Rigobón, 2007).
Some African countries for instance, have been
managing the more recent boom better: some by
paying off debt (Nigeria), others by building fiscal
cushions against potential balance-of-payments
shocks.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


90


Dynamic benefits of linkage development—skills
migration and clusters


Linkage development opens up opportunities for
positive externalities that are difficult to quantify.
By developing backward-linkage supply firms to
the commodity sector and resource-processing
industries, African countries can help to diversify
their technological capabilities and skills base,
deepening their industrial structure. The copper-
mining value chain, for example, needs a wide array
of inputs—and skills (see table 5.9 in chapter 5).


The variety of technological capabilities and skills
fostered in linkages also opens up opportunities
for lateral migration into other sectors, although
some have more potential than others (Hidalgo et
al., 2007). Engineering services and manufacturing
competencies, for example, have general
applicability across a wide variety of sectors. It is
therefore crucial to invest in engineering skills, used
in the broadest sense, encompassing basic technical
vocational education up to tertiary education.


Although the migration of technologies and
competences from the natural resource sector to
other sectors is difficult, many developing countries
show efforts in this direction (Lorentzen, 2008).
Two examples come from South Africa: firms
involved in maize starch production moved into
biodegradable plastics, with successful commercial
application to some basic products; and low dosage
X-ray technology developed for the diamond sector
was later used in the medical sector. Equally,
oil and mineral supplier industries require, and
sometimes help to create, engineering skills in the
local economy, which are particularly susceptible to
spilling over to other sectors.


Moreover, the natural resource sector’s need
for infrastructure (to extract and transport the
commodities) enhances the potential for linkages,
more often with high-volume mineral resources,
which usually require roads and rail. As these


modes are built, it becomes easier to develop
supplier and resource-processing activities, which
increase the economies of scope for further
infrastructure development. This positive externality
is, however, rarer for commodities such as oil,
gold and diamonds, which promote enclave-type
infrastructure (Perkins and Robbins, 2011).


Linkage development creates an opportunity to
maximize positive externalities derived from clusters.
Closeness of supplier and resource-processing
industries to the extraction location generates
agglomeration effects. Efficiency gains for firms in
clusters include gaining access to a pool of specialist
labour and networks of suppliers. Knowledge and
information flows are facilitated, promoting firms’
ability to access information and adopt, adapt and
innovate technology. Facilitating specialization and
clustering lowers entry barriers for small and medium
enterprises, which can enter the resource value chain
by mobilizing limited financial and human capital
for one activity, without having to invest in all the
stages of the production process (Schmitz, 1997).
This is particularly important for Africa: by promoting
specialist supply networks, buyers accrue advantages
in cutting costs, reducing stocks, shortening delivery
times and increasing their flexibly to innovate.


The efficiency gains of clusters increase when firms
cooperate. They may work together to establish
training institutes or business organizations, for
example, or when they engage in vertical supplier–
buyer cooperation. These relationships are critical
to promoting upgrading, because, as seen, supplier
firms get access to knowledge and resources both
to improve their production processes or products
and to move into more technologically sophisticated
functions. Clusters also allow governments to
catalyse industrial policies, creating economies of
scale for investment in skills, technologies, R&D and
infrastructure. Chile’s government, for one, managed
to weave many of the above approaches to create
a world-beating salmon industry from scratch (box
3.4).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


91


bOx 3.4: remArkAble success in chile’s sAlmOn fArming


In the 1970s, the government used Japanese technical assistance programmes to lay the
foundations for the expansion of its salmon industry, buttressed in the 1980s by Fundación Chile, a
government venture-capital foundation that transferred Norwegian and Scottish technology to local
entrepreneurs and built local know-how.


In the early stages, the cluster was dominated by small, geographically dispersed domestic firms,
but in the 1990s it attracted increasing FDI and became more concentrated. At the same time,
firms cooperated on product quality, sustainability certification, branding and overseas marketing,
while still receiving support from Fundación Chile, as well as university R&D and training.


Success has been remarkable. Exports were virtually zero in the 1980s, but by 2000 Chile
had become the world’s second-largest producer of Atlantic salmon, after Norway. Most of the
exports are high value added fresh and frozen fillets, commanding a premium in the EU and US
(Kjöllerström and Dallto, 2007).


The salmon industry has also fostered backward linkages: egg hatcheries, feed production,
manufacturing of cages and nets, construction of floating warehouses, maintenance of refrigerated
containers, and transport services. In 2004 around 300 local firms supplied capital goods and
knowledge-intensive services worth $65 million, almost half the value of the supply chain (Torres-
Fuchslocher, 2007). Some of the supply firms had already accumulated capital and capabilities
in horticulture, and moved into the salmon-farming supply chain. Simultaneously, foreign feed
producers integrated forward into farming (Perez-Aleman, 2005; Phyne and Mansilla, 2003).


Efficient supply industries are therefore critical not
only in creating additional economic activity but
also in achieving efficiency in the commodity sector


(David and Wright, 1997). Natural resources are not
a fixed asset—they depend on the efforts devoted to
exploring, extracting and processing them (box 3.5).


bOx 3.5: explOiting cOpper resOurces in chile


Chile was the leading copper producer until the late 19th century. Between the 1870s and
the 1900s the US overtook it through technological advances in drilling and blasting, and in
concentrating and refining techniques, which allowed almost complete recovery of metal from the
ore.


These innovations expanded the US resource base, at the same time as Chile grappled with
declining ore quality.


Source: David and Wright (1997).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


92


Today, countries with poorer natural resource
endowments than Africa’s are attracting large FDI
in exploration and extraction. Although FDI is not
necessarily the only way to go, African economies
would become more attractive investment
destinations if they developed systemic efficiency,
as localized, efficient supply chains aligned with
the outsourcing and production strategies of
commodity-producing firms (Morris et al., 2012).


Africa should ignore the criticisms of resource-
based industrialization


The experience of resource-rich countries
shows the possibilities of commodity-based
industrialization—despite all the criticisms, which
run along three lines: that it is as hard as any other
industrialization path; that commodity sectors are
unlikely to promote linkages and externalities;
and that resource-based industries do not match
Africa’s factor endowments.10


As hard as any other path? Yes, but still
achievable with the right economic policies


The first line argues that resource-based
industries encounter the same obstacles faced
by any industry. Reviewing firm-level surveys
conducted in many African countries from
the 1990s, Bigsten and Söderbom (2006)
found that the growth potential for Africa’s
manufacturing industries is critically constrained
by high uncertainty and risks, which reduce
firms’ propensity to undertake capital investment,
and by high entry barriers to export markets,


which prevent firms from expanding beyond
small domestic markets and accruing efficiency
gains. Moreover, firms are burdened by high
financing and indirect costs—physical and
services infrastructure, inputs, etc. For many
African countries—including Rwanda, which
has ranked as one of the fastest reformers in the
world—economic conditions have improved (see
chapter 1), with macroeconomic stability, an improved
business environment and more focus on developing
infrastructure and human capital.


Proximity of a commodity often does not in itself
confer sufficient cost advantages to enable
an African country to develop competitive
resource-based industries. Other factors, such
as infrastructure, human capital and access
to financial capital may be more important in
determining final cost competitiveness. Access
to skills has been found to be particularly critical
in constraining Africa’s resource-based industrial
development (Owens and Wood, 1997).


Indeed, developing resource-based industries
involves similar challenges to developing any
other. Still, selective industrial policies are
instrumental in catalysing resources in high-
potential sectors rather than spreading them
thinly across all sectors. The experiences of
resource-rich Argentina, Malaysia, Thailand and
Venezuela point to export success of resource-
based industries stemming not so much from
high levels of initial skills and capital, but from
economic policies fostering their development
(box 3.6).


bOx 3.6: well-thOught-Out pOlicies cAtAlyse resOurces in fOur
resOurce-rich cOuntries


In Argentina and Venezuela, the export sector was led by two types of industry: resource-based
industries, intensive in unskilled labour (especially for Argentina’s agricultural resources); and
manufacturing industries, intensive in semi- and high-skilled labour.


Argentina’s agricultural resources led to the development of food, beverage and tobacco export
industries, while Venezuela’s mineral resources led to the development of basic chemicals and
metal export industries. Resource-based industries enabled the accumulation of capital, skills
and technological capabilities. This process, coupled with import-substitution policies, resulted in a
deepening of the industrial base that advanced other manufacturing industries (Londero and Teitel,
1996).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


93


Commodity sectors are unlikely to promote linkages
and externalities? Indeed, they can


The second line is that commodity sectors have
an enclave nature—offering few opportunities for
backward or forward linkages and with weak positive
externalities (Hirschman, 1958, 1981; Prebisch,
1950; Singer, 1950). According to this view, extractive
industries are capital intensive and so provide few
employment and skills-development opportunities.
Moreover, they tend to require fewer supplier linkages
than manufacturing, implying that technological
externalities are lower and that incentives for


investment in supplier industries are weaker. As TNCs
repatriate most revenues to their home countries,
developing countries share few benefits. This enclave
industry argument was espoused by dependency
theorists in the 1970s (Girvan and Girvan, 1973).


The historical experience of many resource-rich
countries nevertheless shows that commodity sectors
foster productivity growth, technological innovation,
as well as forward and backward linkages, if there are
good institutions and investment in human capital and
knowledge (de Ferranti et al., 2002), as shown in two
Nordic countries and the US (box 3.7).


Malaysia and Thailand were very successful in developing resource-based industries. In the 1970s and
1980s, these industries represented around a fifth of total exports in Malaysia, and a third in Thailand.
Malaysia’s selective policies targeted the expansion of rubber and palm oil production, while supporting
domestic palm oil refineries and rubber semi-manufacturing. Thailand’s export incentives targeted gems,
tinned fish, dried and preserved fruit and preserved vegetables. Palm oil, rubber, leather, wood and
fisheries are still important sectors in these countries’ industrial development plans (Reinhardt, 2000).


In these countries, resource-based industries developed from initially low skills and capital by mobilizing
domestic entrepreneurship and implementing effective industrial policies. Industrialization favoured skills
and capital accumulation and facilitated the development of more sophisticated manufacturing capabilities.


bOx 3.7: gOOd institutiOns And investment in humAn cApitAl pAid Off


In the 19th century, Sweden relied on exports of cereals, sawn wood and, later, pulp, paper and iron
ore, while Finland relied on wood pulp (Blomström and Kokko, 2007). Although access to foreign
knowledge was important, the development of sophisticated processing industries was mainly the
result of investments in skills and research from public and private institutions. These built the basis
for sustained competitiveness and Swedish and Finnish processing industries were still competitive
against low-cost producers. Moreover, successful backward linkage industries developed for
specialized machinery, engineering products, transport services and equipment.


Similarly, US emergence as an industrial power at the turn of the past century was propelled by
resource abundance: petroleum products, meat and poultry packing, primary copper products and
steel works (Wright, 1990).


In recent times, the commodity sectors had a
positive impact on broader economic development,
including through promoting a diversified industrial
structure, in developed economies (Australia,
Norway and Scotland) and developing countries
(Argentina and Malaysia, as seen; Raines et


al., 2001).With the right policies—for skills,
technologies and linkages (Wright and Czelusta,
2004)—and under the right conditions, commodity
production can therefore have a positive impact on
broader development, including a more diversified
industrial structure.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


94


by regi on


Low-income 25.6


China 29.7


Lower middle-income 18.3


Upper middle-income 17.2


High-income 8.5


by sector


UNCTAD classification Lall classification


Labour/resource intensive 69 Resource-based 61


Low skill/tech/capital intensive 67 Low-technology 71


Medium skill/tech/capital intensive 64 Medium-technology 59


High skill/tech/capital intensive 59 High-technology 51


tAble 3.7: shAre Of eu impOrts Of mAnufActured prOducts with declining
unit price trends, 1988–2002 (%)


Source: Adapted from Kaplinsky and Santos-Paulino (2006).


Resource-based industries do not match Africa’s
factor endowments


The final line is that Africa’s industrial policies
should be designed for unskilled labour–intensive
sectors, such as light manufacturing. This is
supported by arguments that resource-processing
industries are generally capital or skills intensive,
or both (Roemer, 1979). It has been estimated
that manufacturing industries employ on average
26 per cent more labour per unit of output than
resource-based manufacturing (Owens and Wood,
1997). Resource processing would therefore
require two factors of production fairly scarce in
Africa—capital and skilled labour.


This argument is increasingly challenged by the
emerging dynamics of GVCs. Labour-intensive,
export-oriented industrialization was the path
followed by East Asia. Asia, however, relied on
many measures that are prohibited, or at least
discouraged, in today’s multilateral trade arena.
These include tariff protection and performance
requirements, such as trade balancing and local
content (Chang, 2002). As African countries
negotiate trade agreements at multilateral
and regional levels, they should push for the
necessary policy space for their export oriented
industrialization strategies. Further, given the
political economy of trade negotiations, countries
must work together in articulating regional
strategies to have sufficient leverage when
engaging with third parties, such as the EU, US
or China. Regional integration is therefore an
imperative to devise industrialization and value
addition strategies which build the necessary


linkages between suppliers and producers within
the continent, to overcome the constraints being
faced by local production.


Moreover, policymakers need to remember that
manufacturing is subject to downward price
pressures when designing an industrial policy
for Africa, as seen in the developed countries,
whose high-cost consumer goods exports have
largely been displaced by those from developing
countries, mainly in Asia. Africa’s manufacturing
sector has to compete with these exports, where
firms have better access to infrastructure, and to
financial and human capital.


These downward price pressures are confirmed
by an analysis of unit prices trends of EU imports
of manufactured products in 1988–2002, which
can be assumed to largely reflect global unit
prices. Around a quarter of the EU’s manufactured
products imported from low-income countries and
almost a third of those imported from China saw
declining price trends, against less than a tenth
of those imported from high-income countries
(table 3.7). These declining price trends affected
labour/resource–intensive sectors and low-skill/
technology sectors the most, that is, those in
which Africa competes with China and India.
Africa’s industrialization through export-oriented,
light manufacturing would therefore take place in
an environment of falling global prices and high
competition. It is therefore arguable that resource-
based industrialization will offer better opportunities
for African countries to compete in global markets
before they can eventually compete in other
manufacturing activities.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


95


While opportunities still exist for some
African countries to industrialize through light
manufacturing exports, resource-rich countries
need to seriously consider embarking on
commodity-based industrialization where they
have greater competitive advantage. China’s
hunger for natural resources is keeping
commodity prices high (Kaplinsky, 2006), which
provides a good opportunity to capitalize on.


The question then is not whether Africa can
industrialize by “ignoring” its commodities, but rather
how the latter can be used to promote value addition,
new service industries and technological capabilities
that span the subregions of the continent. In other
words, how can African countries add more value to
their commodities to reap larger benefits from them?
Another key issue is how to move from resource-
based industrialization to higher stages.


3.3 Adding vAlue And develOping
linkAges


The world’s number one, two, three and six cocoa
bean exporters—Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and
Cameroon—show remarkably low levels of value
addition: only Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana exported
between a fifth and a quarter of their production
in semi-processed form (figure 3.3). Yet 54 per
cent of Indonesia’s export value to the world was
at the lower and higher end of the semi-processed
stages (cocoa paste, butter and powder), and 94
per cent of Malaysia’s export value to the world
was at the higher end of the semi-processed
stage (cocoa butter and powder). In Latin America,
Brazil and especially Mexico have moved up
the value chain: 31 per cent of Brazil’s and 99
per cent of Mexico’s cocoa exports consisted of
chocolate products.


figure 3.3: vAlue-Added cOntent Of selected develOping cOuntries’ cOcOA
expOrts, 2011 (%)


100%


90%


80%


70%


60%


50%


40%


30%


20%


10%


0%


Source: ITC Trademap, retrieved from http://www.trademap.org/, accessed 30 August 2012.


Stage 1: cocoa beans Stage 2: cocoa shells Stage 3: cocoa paste Stage 4: cocoa butter and powder Stage 5: chocolate


C
am


er
oo


n


C
ôt


e
d’


Iv
oi


re


G
ha


na


N
ig


er
ia


In
do


ne
si


a


M
al


ys
ia


B
ra


zi
l


E
cu


ad
or


M
ex


ic
o




Economic Report on Africa 2013


96


The timber GVC shows a similar interregional
pattern. In Cameroon, the Republic of Congo,
Mozambique and South Africa, between three
quarters and all exports were logs or other basic
processed forms (figure 3.4). Côte d’Ivoire,
Gabon and Ghana export around a third of
their production in higher value added form,


including plywood and veneer sheets, in a move
that Indonesia had made earlier (box 3.8). Other
major Asian producers export 58–97 per cent
of their timber in advanced processed stages,
including China, the Republic of Korea and Sri
Lanka, producing frames, tools and tableware, for
example.11


figure 3.4: vAlue-Added cOntent Of selected develOping cOuntries’ timber
expOrts (excluding furniture), 2011 (%)


100%


90%


80%


70%


60%


50%


40%


30%


20%


10%


0%


C
am


er
oo


n


C
on


go
R


ep
.


C
ôt


e
d’


Iv
oi


re


G
ab


on


G
ha


na


M
oz


am
bi


qu
e


S
ou


th
A


fri
ca


C
hi


na


K
or


ea
R


ep
.


In
do


ne
si


a


M
al


ay
si


a


S
ri


La
nk


a


P
er


u


Source: ITC Trademap, retrieved from http://www.trademap.org/, accessed 30 August 2012.


Stage 1: wood in chips, in the rought


Stage 2: hoopwood, split poles, railway sleepers, sawnwood


Stage 3: veneer sheets, plywood, wood continously shaped


Stage 4: particle board, fibre board, densified wood


Stage 5: frames, packaging materials, casks, barrels


Stage 6: tools, builders’ joinery and carpentry, tableware




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


97


bOx 3.8: cOntrOl Of mArketing chAnnels Add expOrt vAlue in
indOnesiA


TThe critical feature of Indonesia’s upgrading strategy was its control of domestic and international
marketing channels (Gellert, 2003). A national marketing body, Apkindo, was established in 1976
and private firms were compelled to join, reflecting the government’s objective of developing a
national processing industry. Apkindo used its control of domestic channels to move into value-
added, regional markets (Gellert, 2003).


Until then, it had largely been a “price-taker” for logs, and could not enter the plywood segment
of its largest export market, Japan. Japan was protected by high tariff and non-tariff barriers, its
plywood producers were highly efficient, and distribution was monopolized by eight trading houses
interested in supplying cheap raw materials to their processors.


To break into this market, Apkindo obtained certification of compliance with Japanese agricultural
standards for its timber processors and established an independent trading house in Japan,
partnering with a minor local trader. This house assumed control of all Indonesian plywood imports,
and sold to other trading houses and directly to construction firms. These imports were competitive
as they were initially subsidized through the fees collected from Apkindo’s members.


Indonesia’s strategy paid off. Bypassing the Japanese trading houses competing with its own, it
managed to become a “price-maker” for plywood in Japan. It raised the volume and price of its
plywood exports: exports rose from $160 million in 1981 to $1 billion in 1986 and to $4 billion in
1992, making it the world’s largest hardwood plywood exporter (Thee, 2009).The wood-processing
industry also deepened its processing capabilities, investing in particle-board, woodworking,
furniture and cement-bonded plants.


The cocoa and timber GVCs highlight a few issues.
First, among some of the world’s largest raw material
producers, African producers are relegated to the
bottom of the value chain. Second, intraregional
variations emerge: Ecuador and Peru lagged behind
other countries in their region, while Côte d’Ivoire and
Ghana were ahead in theirs.


The stories of success and failure in creating
backward and forward linkages in other developing
countries (boxes 3.9–3.13) highlight that they are
the result of, among other things, a straightforward
combination of policies and domestic capabilities.


bOx 3.9: successfully cOmbining pOlicies And dOmestic cApAbilities,
brAzil


Brazil’s soybean industry took off in the 1970s. Initially, the government supported intensive
soybean production in what had been coffee-producing areas such as Rio Grande do Sul. It did so
by adopting price and input subsidies, a generous credit policy, and measures to modernize farming
practices. Differential export taxes and quotas encouraged value-added exports. These measures
were accompanied until the mid-1990s by a duty drawback system and price controls.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


98


Africa’s experience with linkage development has
had modest success (ECA, 2011). In the past, efforts
focused on state ownership but failed to build market
competitiveness. Ghana’s attempts to move into cocoa
processing through state ownership performed poorly
owing to a combination of mismanagement of firms
and low supply of raw materials (Talbot, 2002). This
outcome was common in resource-rich countries
in the 1970s and 1980s, which pursued forward
linkages through strong public participation, tariff
protection and high subsidies.


Other strategies also found limited success: Côte
d’Ivoire’s forward integration relied on high producer


prices to raise cocoa production and FDI (Talbot,
2002). It set up a cocoa-processing industry,
largely controlled by foreign companies, but capacity
stayed low.


Some governments have not adopted linkage
policies (box 3.10), forgoing potential opportunities
to develop local manufacturing and services (Morris
et al., 2012). Others, adopting export bans and
taxes as well as local content regulations, have
rarely matched them with measures to support
technological capabilities, skills development and
entry into marketing/distribution networks (boxes
3.11 and 3.12).


bOx 3.10: missed OppOrtunities in gOld mining, tAnzAniA


Tanzania’s gold mining has, since the late 1990s, underpinned national economic growth. The objectives of
the 1997 Mineral Policy and the 2012 Mineral Act include developing backward linkages, but the country
has no definite target, incentives or penalty system, leaving linkage development largely to market forces.
Legislation reserves primary prospecting and mining licensing to wholly owned Tanzanian companies,
which can, however, sell these rights to foreign firms. In this way it has allowed some national
companies to accrue rent from gold mining, but has not fostered value-added activities. In gold
exploration, local content is limited to drilling services and logistics, while in gold mining, it is limited to
fuel, equipment repair and maintenance, and basic services. Most services and goods are imported.
One reason for the low value addition is the weak capability of local firms, which also suffer from poor
competitiveness, partly owing to high production costs. Another is that tax exemptions for mining
inputs apply to mines but not their suppliers, which therefore face higher import costs.


The gold-mines’ remoteness is another more fundamental issue, but national infrastructure is poor,
raising costs. To address them, Tanzania joined the project of a Central Development Corridor to
connect Dar es Salaam port with the Great Lakes region and to stimulate broader economic activity
centred on resources (Perkins and Robbins, 2011). The project is lagging behind, however, owing to
lack of funding, weak political will and poor institutional capabilities. Skilled labour is also scarce, and
industrial research institutes have largely ignored supply chains.


Source: Mjimba (2011).


The soybean processing industry, increasingly owned by large, modern and often TNC-controlled
enterprises, developed by supplying soybean oil to the domestic market, and soybean cake to the
growing pig and poultry sector and to export markets. Upstream industries to soybean agricultural
production and processing industries also developed (Fold, 2000).


Interventionist policies and high domestic capabilities boosted the cocoa industry, too. In the
1970s, incentives to local processing expanded domestic grinding capacity. When grinders could
not access enough raw material, the government incentivized cocoa farming and set export quotas.
A mix of Brazilian and transnational companies controls the processing industry (Talbot, 2002).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


99


bOx 3.11: AngOlA’s lAws Are nOt enOugh On their Own


Angola has an ambitious programme to increase local content in its oil and gas value chain. It is
based on decrees of 1982 and 2003 and the 2004 Petroleum Activity Law, which required oil and
gas companies to train and hire local labour, and to follow preferential procurement from Angolan
companies for products that are not capital or knowledge intensive.


Yet despite comprehensive legislation, Angola has had little success in creating backward linkages. In
2010, the only value-added activities were the operations of two components of the subsea umbilicals,
risers and flow lines subsector—assembly of flow lines and control lines (box table).


bOx tAble: prOvenAnce Of inputs


types of input % of oper.
exp


descripti on provenance


Imported Locally produced


Production
Machinery


70–75


Pipe pincers, loaders, rollers, stalk
racks, cranes, amortization


✓ --


Raw Material Metal, steel, copper ✓ --


Labour (skilled/
unskilled)


15–20 Engineers, managers, welders, etc. ✓ ✓


Basic General
Services


3–4 Health and Safety Executives,
catering, cleaning, security, civil
construction, recruitment, lease


-- ✓


Basic General
Goods


2 PPE, IT and electronic equipment,
office furniture, stationery, etc.


✓ --


The local content policy helped to provide Angolan firms and joint ventures with access to the supply
chain. Previously, oil and gas companies had outsourced supply links related to subsea umbilicals,
risers and flow lines through engineering, procurement, construction and installation (“turnkey”)
contracts. These contracts outsourced the entire chain to overseas contractors, bypassing locally
based suppliers. Through the local content policy, some local firms entered the supply chain, but their
local content remained low because everything but labour and some services was imported.


Moreover, these firms were mostly joint ventures and were located in the oil terminal, which granted
them access to good transport, electricity, water and telecom, insulating them from the national
infrastructure. By contrast, the majority of local potential suppliers faced very poor infrastructure and
lacked competitiveness. Moreover, while state ownership through Sonangol assured the linkage
development vision, issues in implementation arose, such as lack of coordination with the private




Economic Report on Africa 2013


100


sector and with ministries and agencies responsible for industrial development.


Linkage development efforts have been more successful in employment, and the skills of the local
labour force have risen steadily, largely owing to heavy investment in training by the oil and gas
companies and the public sector.


Source: Teka (2011).


bOx 3.12: uncOmpetitive timber prOcessing in gAbOn


The 2001 Forestry Code provided a vision for the wood industry that encouraged sustainable
farming and value addition (Terheggen, 2011). But as the export market shifted to China and
timber was increasingly exported in unprocessed form, Gabon imposed an export ban on logs in
2010.


Although the ban forced domestic logging companies to increase local processing in exports,
they remain uncompetitive internationally. Unprocessed wood has to be transported via water
(road and rail are inadequate) keeping transport costs high at 14–25 per cent of total production
costs, but water is unsuitable for moving processed wood. Labour is also an issue: processing
companies have to import not only skilled and semi-skilled labour, but also some of their
unskilled workers.


bOx 3.13: diversifying the ecOnOmy thrOugh diAmOnd beneficiAtiOn,
bOtswAnA


Botswana stands out as Africa’s success story in expanding its economy. Growth averaged
around 9–10 per cent a year, transforming the country from one of the poorest countries at
independence in 1966 with GDP per capita of $77 to a middle-income country with a per capita
GDP of $5,716 in 2005. This growth was driven by diamond mining, which accounts for half of
government revenues, two thirds of exports and a third of GDP.


Yet Botswana’s growth model—rooted in the neo-liberal orthodox macroeconomic framework—
delivered growth that was neither pro-poor nor inclusive, and failed to diversify the economy from
almost total dependence on mining. Unemployment, poverty and inequality have remained high
relative to comparator middle-income countries: in 2010, unemployment was estimated at 17.8
per cent, poverty at 20 per cent.


Botswana’s beneficiation policy (establishing
resource-processing industries) is generally meeting
its targets (Mbayi, 2011). The country has been very
successful in using natural resources—especially


its huge diamond reserves (box 3.13)—to promote
economic growth and reduce poverty through value
addition and job creation.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


101


As part of its economic diversification strategy, the government started to beneficiate diamonds
to create jobs. The ultimate objective is to transform Botswana into a world-class diamond
centre and sustain revenues from the industry beyond the life span of the diamond deposits by
creating downstream skills in cutting and polishing, jewellery manufacturing, diamond trading
and ancillary businesses.


The immediate aims are to increase skilled jobs through labour-intensive cutting and polishing
and to diversify the economy by stimulating local economic development and promoting linkages
with the rest of the economy. Local communities are to benefit from value addition through
employment as well as technical knowledge and skills, which also enrich the social knowledge
base, creating capabilities and options for firms to diversify into related goods and services.


The diamond cutting and polishing industry employs around 3,000 workers (about a third of
mining jobs) but its jobs are very susceptible to global shocks: the number fell from 3,267 in
2008 to 2,183 in 2009, subsequently recovering to 3,262 in 2011 (Statistics Botswana, 2012).
Downstream activities are likely to create more jobs as the sales function of the international
branch of the Diamond Trading Company, established in 2008 by the government and De Beers
mining company, relocates to Botswana.


Botswana has successfully used its resource intensity to help diversify its economy and create
jobs, but it still has to resolve incoherence between social and economic policies and duplication
of institutions and functions, as well as weak skills development, especially given the demand for
specialist skills under the beneficiation strategy.


Source: Mbayi (2011).


Too few of Africa’s linkage development strategies
have been matched by efforts to improve the supply of
raw materials. Mozambique’s cashew-nut processing
industry is one example (Cramer, 1999). Previously
state owned, it was in prolonged crisis owing to
mismanagement and civil war. After privatization,
there was policy uncertainty between the objective
of exporting high-value raw kernels and encouraging
local processing through export duties, making it hard
to define strategy. However, the key constraints were
related to technology, skills, infrastructure, standards,
marketing, branding, and, most of all, access to raw
materials. By contrast, Brazil, India, Indonesia and
Vietnam promoted cashew-nut processing through
industrial policies, export taxes and bans over the last
4 decades.


3.4 fActOrs in linkAge develOpment


The opportunities for developing linkages to natural
resource sectors are determined by the capabilities


of domestic firms and effectiveness of government
policy. Domestic firms’ competitiveness in price,
quality, lead times and flexibility define the extent
to which they can seize the opportunity to supply
commodity lead producers or move into resource-
processing for domestic, regional and international
markets or even create domestic lead firms. Other
factors also matter, as now discussed.


Technical characteristics of GVCs


GVCs have different technical characteristics for
processing commodities. Some commodities have
to be processed shortly after extraction because the
intermediate products are not storable, especially
soft commodities such as tea, rubber and palm oil,
which need immediate post-harvest processing to
preserve their essential qualities. Tea processing
from the leaf into “made tea” has to be quick, and
customarily has been carried out in producing
countries (Talbot, 2002).




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102


By contrast, coffee roasting and grinding have to be
done near the consumption stage, to preserve the
flavour. Traditionally, forward linkages in producing
countries have been limited to processing into
parchment coffee (coffee seeds are separated,
rinsed and dried) and green beans. Green beans are
the most common form of trading because they can
be stored for years (Talbot, 2002). Forward linkages
have increased in a few producing countries that
process coffee into instant coffee or vacuum pack
coffee for roasting, which increases durability but
also transport costs (Roemer, 1979).12


Forward integration by commodity-producing
countries is facilitated when there are many
discrete stages of production of storable products
within a GVC. This is because lead firms could
find it profitable to outsource the processing of
intermediate products to producing countries,
while retaining control of the higher value added
stages. The large food TNCs have outsourced the
intermediate processing stages of the value chain
to international trading houses, because this has not
infringed on their core business (Talbot, 2002). From
the 1980s, some cocoa processing activities partly
relocated to cocoa producing countries, including
West Africa (Fold, 2002).


The technical characteristics of the value chain also
determine the breadth and type of backward linkages.
Ore extraction, for example, is a large-scale activity
that requires a raft of suppliers, from low-skilled,
labour-intensive to capital-intensive providers, while
sugar production requires a narrower range and lower
value of capital inputs.


The opportunities for linkage development are
also shaped by relative factor intensity and the
varying requirements of firms’ capabilities. Mineral
processing is generally more skills and capital
intensive than soft-commodity processing, but
wood, rubber and non-basic metal semi-fabricates
production are more labour intensive than steel-
making or alumina smelting (Londero and Teitel,
1996; Roemer, 1979).


In backward linkages, service-based supply firms
are more knowledge intensive and require smaller
economies of scale than capital-intensive machinery
suppliers, which require larger amounts of capital
and R&D and have greater economies of scale.


They are usually controlled by TNCs, although in
knowledge-intensive economies like Germany, small
and medium-sized producers (the Mittelstand) are
successful.


Different value chain characteristics affect the
capabilities that firms need. The technological
distance between stages of the value chain
determines how firms can move into backward and
forward linkages (Hirschman, 1958). For example,
the capabilities required to process wood into sawn
wood, plywood and veneer sheets are different
from those required for furniture making. In order
to undertake this non-linear upgrading, local firms
require new capabilities in product design and
marketing. Forward and backward integration is
facilitated when firms require capabilities similar to
their existing ones.


While transport costs do not automatically create an
advantage in local processing, in some value chains,
processing heavily reduces weight or volume (or
both), which is critical with high fuel prices. Copper
refining, for instance, cuts the weight of ores by
two thirds (Radetzki, 2008). Steep reductions come
from processing timber into board products. Rubber
processing, by contrast, increases weight and
volume, and processing sulphur into acid adds to
transport costs because it raises handling risks.


Some processing activities, such as aluminium
smelting or steel production, depend critically on
cost-effective access to complementary inputs like
energy. This factor explains the competitiveness in
processing of some developed countries with no
endowment of alumina or iron ore.


Lastly, technological change is important. The timber
value chain saw sweeping changes when flat-packed
furniture arrived in the 1980s, which enabled lower
value added activities to be outsourced to low-cost
countries (Morris et al., 2012).


Industry structure


Metal and oil refining present high economies of
scale, as do their intermediate product manufacturing
(ECA, 2011). This has two implications: the natural
resource sector must generate enough output
to make processing viable; and manufacture into
intermediate or final goods requires large domestic




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


103


markets or must be internationally competitive for
the export market. Nonetheless, if the continent
could eliminate barriers and constraints to regional
trade, regional markets might well be instrumental
in exploiting economies of scale and in selling the
intermediate and final goods that have value added
locally and regionally.


Highly concentrated markets can result in captive
supplier networks, that is, where suppliers are
transactionally dependent on their large buyers
(Gereffi et al., 2005). As these networks tend to
support local upgrading where industrial capabilities
are weak, such market-structure and supplier-
network arrangements could benefit Africa’s
industrialization.


They can also induce firms to forward integrate. As
well as the cocoa value chain (discussed above),
many larger oil companies are involved in upstream
and downstream activities. Forward integration by
dominant firms raises entry barriers to potential
competitors, a particular problem when the capital
and skills requirements are not prohibitive for local
processing firms.


It follows that governments have to take account of
the market dominance of lead firms in their linkage
development strategies, as Botswana did when
designing its forward linkage policy (see box 3.13). In
the diamond GVC, as De Beers controls much global
production as well as marketing and distribution,
Botswana’s beneficiation policy was designed around


the company, setting restrictions on its marketing of
raw diamonds (Mbayi, 2011). When the government
renewed the company’s mining licence, it established
that a set amount of raw diamonds had to be locally
marketed, cut and polished. (It is too early to assess
the success of this strategy, but many processing
firms have now relocated to Botswana and are
training local workers.)


Lead-firm strategies


The strategies of lead firms have a large impact
on linkage development. In the clothing value
chain for example, US retailers and marketers
encouraged their suppliers to upgrade to “full-
package” production, while branded manufactures
only required basic assembly from their suppliers
(Gereffi, 1999). High concentration and the
financialization of companies (i.e. the entry of banks
and other financial institutions into commodity
markets and the development of a range of
commodity-based financial instruments) in the
United Kingdom led buyers there to rationalize their
supply chains, which increased entry barriers and
constrained upgrading opportunities for developing-
country suppliers (Palpacuer et al., 2005).


In the timber and cassava GVCs, when African
and Asian producers widened their export markets
to China, they also reduced their processing
capabilities as these went to China (Kaplinsky et
al., 2010). Gabon exemplifies the downgrade (box
3.14).


bOx 3.14: lOsing its prOcessing prOwess, gAbOn


The timber industry used to export veneer sheet and plywood products to the EU and to adhere
to strict environmental sustainability regulations. But in the 2000s, much of the market shifted to
China, which is more interested in large volumes and cheap supplies.


From the 1960s to the 1990s, wood exports averaged around 80,000 cubic metres a year,
around 70 per cent of which was exported in semi-processed form (plywood). The shift to China
saw, after 2004, an almost fivefold increase in export volumes, but a downgrade to sawn wood
and, less so, to veneer sheet (both with less value added than plywood).


In 1997–2007, export volumes of sawn wood—the least processed form—rose 770 per cent.


Source: Terheggen (2011).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


104


Zambia’s copper value chain has been shaped
by the various strategies of mining companies,
often reflecting their country of origin (Fessehaie,
2012). Since 2008, industrial-country mining
companies, for example, have increasingly
rationalized their supply chains, focusing on
value-adding supply firms and raising entry
barriers to entry. They cooperate with local
suppliers to enhance their processes and
competitiveness. Although the largest Chinese
copper mining company, NFCA, grants more
market opportunities than Western companies
to many local suppliers, it offers no cooperation
to upgrade local processing. The Indian
mining company, KCM, reduces both market
opportunities and upgrading processes, through
poor supply-chain management.


location and infrastructure


Geographical distribution and access to
infrastructure play a key role in shaping
agglomeration configurations around the
commodity sector. Africa’s infrastructure has
largely been inherited from colonial times, and
tends to be designed to link plantations, as well as
oil and mining facilities, to ports.


When infrastructure is poor and commodity
extraction is based in remote locations, local
supply firms face high marketing and distribution
barriers, having either to relocate their business
or to travel when meeting buyers and to arrange
transport of supplies and services. Knowledge
and information flows are also curtailed. Moreover,
local supply or processing firms find it costly to
relocate where there are no second-tier suppliers
or other specialist suppliers.


The commodity itself considerably influences the
potential for infrastructure to promote linkages
(Morris et al., 2012). For example, oil extraction is
supported by pipelines, which have very few spillover
benefits. Conversely, roads or railways are a public
good: they can be used by different users and they
generate network effects. This type of infrastructure
is particularly beneficial to developing backward
linkages because it reduces costs for local suppliers.


Through infrastructure development, the resource
sector can promote supply clusters. Geographical


agglomerations reduce marketing and networking
costs for suppliers or processing firms, and favour
technological spillovers and knowledge flows. They
also facilitate just-in-time deliveries and close
inter-firm relationships that encourage customized
solutions.


Africa’s infrastructure deficiencies are therefore
a major impediment to linkage development,
and regional integration could catapult the
continent’s ability to enter GVCs. Several initiatives
promoting “corridors” across Africa or focusing on
infrastructure (such as roads and power pools that
span several countries) are examples of how the
continent could tackle these deficiencies.


Trade barriers


Tariff escalation is one major barrier to commodity-
based GVCs (alongside rules of origin, product or
process standards, and sanitary and phytosanitary
measures, which are seldom explicit and are
often argued as being non-intentional “technical
barriers to trade”). It occurs when import tariffs
increase according to the degree of processing
of imported products. Raw materials face lower
duties to provide processing companies in the
importing country with cheap materials, while
semi-processed and processed products face
increasingly higher duties to protect firms in
the importing country from competition. Tariff
escalation thus discourages natural resource–rich
countries from moving up their commodity-based
GVCs.


Tariff escalation is significant not only between
raw and semi-finished products but also between
semi-finished and finished products (Cernat et al.,
2002). It is present in the markets of developed
and developing countries (even with various
multilateral and bilateral trade initiatives), and it
may affect some African countries more seriously
in the future.


Both the US African Growth and Opportunity
Act (AGOA) and the EU’s Economic Partnership
Agreements (EPAs) contain trade barriers
affecting Africa’s move up the commodity-based
value chain (see chapter 2). The rules of origin
under AGOA impede African beneficiaries from
sourcing inputs from African countries that are




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


105


not beneficiaries to the agreement (Karingi et al.,
2011). In the EPA negotiations, pressure from
the EU to obtain MFN treatment would wash
down the preference margins of existing and
future bilateral and regional agreements between
African partners, a prerequisite to shift the
sourcing structure to inputs within the continent
and foster the creation of regional value chains.


Equally, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, as
well as requirements for standards, have impeded
countries such as Namibia from exporting table
grapes or Botswana from entering the EU beef
sector, which would have brought opportunities to
highly segmented markets.


It is these aspects that are holding back African
countries from fully realizing preferential
treatment and using liberalization as a launch
pad to industrialize and transform their
economies.


technology and skills bottlenecks


African firms face tight bottlenecks in
technological capabilities (box 3.15) and skills,
among other areas. In 2002, for example,
the number of engineers enrolled in tertiary
institutions in Africa (excluding North Africa) was
only 12 per cent of the number enrolled in the
Republic of Korea (Lall and Pietrobelli, 2005).


Technological efforts are critical for upgrading,
but they are not cost-free or risk-less. In Africa,
most efforts focus on searching, buying and
experimenting with technologies, and adapting
them to local conditions. Knowledge needs
to be acquired and updated to keep up with


innovation, but most local technology institutions
are very poorly resourced (Lall and Pietrobelli,
2005). Africa’s industrial-policy weakness is thus
hampering local firms’ capabilities to be globally
competitive in resource processing.


bOx 3.15: technOlOgy’s gAtes hAve yet tO swing Open


In 2002, Africa’s per capita imports of capital equipment (embodied technology) ranged from
very low (Uganda, $7) to quite high (South Africa, $165). Yet these pale in comparison with
the Republic of Korea ($1,032) and Thailand ($403). Regionally, the per capita figures for
Africa (excluding North Africa) were $8 compared with $242 for East Asia and $198 for
Latin America. Africa (excluding North Africa) attracted much less FDI in manufacturing, and
represented a tiny 1.5 per cent of the licence fees for imported technology paid by developing
countries.


Total R&D, as a share of gross national product, stood at 0.28 per cent in Africa (excluding North
Africa), compared with an average of 0.39 per cent for developing countries and 0.72 per cent
for Asia. Most R&D in Africa targets agriculture rather than manufacturing or services.


Source: Lall and Pietrobelli (2005).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


106


3.5 cOntinentAl pOlicy initiAtives
present OppOrtunities fOr
regiOnAl industriAlizAtiOn And
vAlue AdditiOn


Africa-wide policy moves are a chance to address
challenges. In spite of these disappointing
experiences with industrialization, African
governments have always included such
moves among the highest policy priorities at
the continental level, as evidenced by the large
number of initiatives calling for action to spur
industrialization.


Indeed, the Lagos Plan of Action considered
industrialization as a means of attaining self-
reliance and self-sustainability. This was strongly
reflected in subsequent proposals for Industrial
Development Decades for Africa (IDDA) I and II.
However, despite isolated successes, IDDA I and
II were deemed disappointing by most African
countries, as they were hampered by an absence
of mechanisms for implementation, coordination
and monitoring. In furthering the objectives of
the New Partnership for Africa’s Development
(NEPAD), the African Productive Capacity Initiative
was adopted by the AU and NEPAD in 2004 to
be the overarching framework for sustainable
industrial development in Africa.


In 2007, the Conference of African Ministers of
Industry endorsed the Action Plan for Accelerated
Industrial Development of Africa (AIDA) (AU,
2007). The plan identifies priorities for action at
national, regional, continental and international
levels on product and export diversification;
natural resource management; infrastructure;
human capital, science and technology; standards
compliance; institutional frameworks; and resource
mobilization. It also recommends national industrial
strategies to target value addition of natural
resources; national and continental mining codes
to support local processing; and revenues from
resource sectors to be invested in industrialization.


The Action Plan was endorsed by Heads of State
and Government in 2008. They requested the AU
and the United Nations Industrial Development
Organization (UNIDO) to develop an implementation
strategy with relevant regional economic communities
and international bodies such as ECA and the World
Bank, which led to the following Strategy.


Strategy for the Implementation of the Action Plan
for AIDA


This is a key document in continental action on
industrial policies (AU, 2008). Among its objectives
are insertion of African companies into GVCs, and
development of forward linkages to commodity
sectors and backward linkages to local small and
medium-sized enterprises. The Strategy recognizes
the scope for increased participation by Africa in
commodity-based GVCs. It also proposes investing
in the first stages of resource-based processing, in
the context of increasing FDI into Africa’s natural
resources from economies like China and India. If
complemented by preferential trade agreements
to ensure access to these markets, Africa could
tap into other emerging economies’ capital
and technological endowments to foster local
industrialization.


The Strategy is composed of seven programme
clusters—to be undertaken in the immediate,
medium and long term—on industrial policy and
institutional direction; upgrading production
and trade capacities; promoting infrastructure
and energy for industrial development; human
resources development for industry; industrial
innovation systems, R&D and technology
development; financing and resource mobilization;
and sustainable development.


Recognizing the role of industrial policies in
correcting market failures and of the state
as facilitator, its priority sectors for industrial
upgrading include resource-processing industries
such as agro-food, minerals, textiles and garments,
leather and forestry. It recommends that skills
training should be aligned with the priority sectors,
particularly infrastructure and beneficiation
industries. It targets measures to increase the role
of the private sector in upskilling workers, as well
as technological development and R&D capabilities.


The Strategy envisages several channels to access
investment capital. For resource-rich countries, it
aims to establish national sovereign wealth funds
for industrialization. By establishing a Supplier
Benchmarking and Partnership Exchange,
countries could assist local enterprises to enter
TNCs’ supply chains. This project aims to identify
and match suppliers and buyers; it also recognizes
the need to build the competitiveness of local firms.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


107


The last cluster specifically aims at promoting local
content and beneficiation in extractive industries as
an avenue for sustainable development.


Part of a wider approach to supranational policy and
strategy formulation, the Strategy includes the AU’s
Vision Paper on African Industrial Development;
the road maps adopted by the regional economic
communities (RECs), Economic Community of West
African States, Common Market for Eastern and
Southern Africa, Southern African Development
Community (SADC), and Economic Community for
Central Africa; and the UNIDO-assisted African
Productive Capacity Initiative.


African Mining Vision


The African Mining Vision foresees the mineral
sector contributing to broader continental social
and economic development. Integral to this vision
is the development of upstream, downstream and
horizontal linkages (infrastructure, skills and R&D)
with the mining sector.


The Vision is informed by initiatives at subregional,
continental and global levels. These include the
Yaoundé Vision on Artisanal and Small-scale
Mining; the Africa Mining Partnership’s Sustainable
Development Charter and Mining Policy Framework;
the SADC’s Framework and Implementation Plan
for Harmonisation of Mining Policies, Standards,
Legislative and Regulatory Frameworks; and
the Common Mining Policy and Code Minière
Communautaire of the Union Economique et
Monétaire Ouest Africaine.


The Vision proceeds from an understanding that
companies have an important role. The corporate
world, according to the Vision, has now accepted
that its success will be assessed on a triple bottom
line: financial success, contribution to social
and economic development, and environmental
stewardship. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
was developed to assist corporations to include this
supplement in their reporting guidelines. The 2004
GRI guidelines contain social, environmental and
economic indicators such as revenue management;
compensation payments to local communities;
employee benefits beyond those legally mandated;
and equal opportunity policies or programmes.
The Vision states, however, that the GRI did not
incorporate linkage development.


To maximize the impact of the commodity price
boom on linkage development, the Vision identifies
the following strategies:


• Channelling resource rents to improve the basic
physical and knowledge infrastructure;


• Collateral use of the high-rent resource
infrastructure to open up other economic
activities (such as agriculture, forestry and
tourism);


• Establishing resource-processing industries
(beneficiation);


• Use of the fairly large resources sector market
to develop the resource supply/inputs sector
(capital goods, consumables, services);


• Development of niche technological
competencies in the resource inputs sector.
Opportunities for these are open by the
fact that resource exploitation technologies
generally need adaptation to local conditions
(climate, mineralogy, terrain). These
competencies could later migrate to non-
resource industries.


So far, these strategies have not been fully pursued
because of poor governance in managing resource
rents, poor management of feeder infrastructure
linking to the resource infrastructure, and real
exchange rate appreciation, which hampers local
firms’ competitiveness. Downstream beneficiation has
been hindered by lack of complementary inputs, large
economies of scale, and strategies of TNCs. Upstream
linkage and local technological development are often
prevented by low local capabilities and TNCs’ central
procurement and R&D strategies.


In 2007, the Conference of African
Ministers of Industry endorsed the
Action Plan for Accelerated Industrial
Development of Africa (AIDA) (AU,
2007). The plan identifies priorities for
action at national, regional, continental
and international levels on product
and export diversification; natural
resource management; infrastructure;
human capital, science and technology;
standards compliance; institutional
frameworks; and resource mobilization




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108


The Agribusiness and Agro-industry Development
Initiative was endorsed by the High-Level
Conference on Development of Agribusiness and
Agro-industries in Africa, held in Abuja, Nigeria, in
March 2010. The goal of the initiative is to have an
agriculture sector in Africa that, by 2020, is made
up of highly productive and profitable agricultural
value chains. The initiative aims to accelerate
development of agribusiness and agro-industrial
sectors that ensure value addition to agricultural
products. Four key areas of support will focus on:
enabling policies and public goods; value-chain
skills and technologies; post-production institutions
and services; and reinforced financing and risk-
mitigation mechanisms.


The relevance of value chain analysis and linkage
development was endorsed at the Eighth African
Development Forum held in Addis Ababa on
23–25 October 2012, convened by the AU, ECA
and African Development Bank. The Consensus
Statement adopted at the conference said that
the “full potentiality of [Africa’s] mineral wealth
endowment remains largely untapped owing to
structural and institutional challenges [including] the
lack of forward and backward linkages” (AU et al.,
2012: 2).


Among the recommendations, African countries
should undertake to “enhance the contribution of
mining activities to various backward and forward
linkages in the local economy throughout the entire
mineral value chain and overcome the phenomenon
of enclave economies” and “urgently invest in
tackling the institutional and human capacity
challenges faced by stakeholders along the mineral
value chain” (AU et al., 2012: 3–4).


The High-Level Conference on 3ADI, CAADP
and the Maputo Declaration


Following African leaders’ vision of a food-secure
Africa and the establishment of a Common Food
and Agricultural Market, the 2010 High-Level
Conference on African Agribusiness and Agro-
industries (3ADI) aimed to trigger the structural
transformation of African agriculture through
promoting public-private partnerships (PPPs).
AU member States are to establish the requisite
legal, regulatory and institutional framework


to support agribusiness and agro-industry
development and to put in place programmes to
accelerate development of the value of strategic
food commodities, build competitive food supply
systems and reduce reliance on food imports.


In support of this initiative, the AUC and ECA have
set up a multi-institutional platform, to promote
and assist in the development of regional value
chains especially for designated strategic food
and agricultural commodities. It is expected
that this will contribute to the achievement of
the ultimate objective of Pillar II of the CAADP
framework, which is to accelerate growth in the
agricultural sector by raising the capacities of
private entrepreneurs, including commercial and
smallholder farmers, to meet the increasingly
complex cost, quality and logistical requirements of
domestic, regional and international markets. The
2003 Maputo Declaration had earlier committed
member States to increase their public spending
on agriculture to 10 per cent of their budget
allocation in the context of CAADP.


An example of the work undertaken for value
chain creation in agricultural commodities
relates to the launch of a pilot scheme in two
RECs (COMESA and ECOWAS) that focuses
on three of the strategic food and agricultural
commodities identified at the 2006 Abuja Summit
(livestock, maize and rice). Baseline studies with
a regional perspective on livestock in these two
regions have determined that intra-REC exports
of livestock registered average growth of 15 per
cent, compared with overall growth in intra-Africa
exports of 25 per cent in 2005. This suggests that
trade confined to RECs is less optimal than Africa-
wide trade, which would argue for redoubling
efforts to harmonize community markets to create
a larger Africa-wide marketplace, such as the
Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), given that
countries’ trading interests are not confined within
their REC borders.


AU Summit on Boosting Intra-African Trade and
Fast Tracking the Establishment of the CFTA


African Heads of State and Government recently
took decisive steps to move the regional integration
agenda forward (see chapter 2), adopting a




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


109


Decision on Boosting Intra-African Trade and
Fast-Tracking the Establishment of the CFTA
during the 18th AU Summit in January 2012. They
agreed to operationalize the CFTA by 2017. The
Decision and Declaration contain an Action Plan
for Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT), which is
being implemented. The Action Plan has seven
critical clusters for development, two of which deal
with elements at the heart of industrialization and
linkage development, namely productive capacity and
factor market integration. The Action Plan has short,
medium and long-term periods to deliver concrete
outputs and targets pertaining to the clusters, with
responsibilities shared between the RECs, member
States and the AU, among others.


These regional initiatives are important for
industrialization in Africa. They require major
coordination efforts from member States, regional
bodies and development partners. If taken seriously,
their implementation has the potential to support
Africa’s transformation through resource-based
industrialization and value addition.


African countries should consider designing
strategies for linkage to GVCs


A resource-based industrialization strategy A
resource-based industrialization strategy should
be grounded in the reality of each African country
as well as the dynamics of the globalized world
economy. Unlike the past, Africa has to design
linkages for a world in which goods and services
move across borders with ease and speed, and
GVCs are governed by multinational lead firms
that set parameters and have access to consumer
markets and for whom Africa’s interests may not
be a priority.


To be economically sustainable, African countries
could, as a first step, look for ways of inserting
themselves into these value chains and to
continually upgrade their position. Thereafter, they
should seek ways of developing their own lead
firms. State industrial policies and strategies by lead
firms will ultimately define the success of any linkage
development strategy.


The global mining industries have similarly moved
away from a high level of vertical integration towards
outsourcing various stages in the mining process,
ranging from the provision of capital goods and
intermediate inputs such as chemicals to low-
tech and more basic labour-intensive services to
independent firms. What they have not done in many
African countries, South Africa for example, is to
support beneficiation efforts.


Supplier firms have responded to these opportunities
and global mining companies are also involved in
building capabilities among their suppliers. The same
logic of unfolding outsourcing, initially to the lowest-
cost global supplier and then, wherever possible, to
low-cost close suppliers, is being observed in many
commodity sectors, including Africa’s.


Finding efficient local suppliers is particularly
attractive in Africa, because transport and logistics
are poorly developed (goods from outside may be
greatly delayed) and because government policies
have often mandated the deepening of local value
addition (Morris et al., 2012). Also, large commodity
firms have come to realize that unless their activities
are associated with broader local development, they
are likely to face hostility both from government
and locals. Many such firms have therefore signed
agreements to support local development.


Although the expansion of local linkages is thus
largely fostered by the growing trend towards
outsourcing by the core lead firms, it is not the only
driver of localized production. Many inputs into the
commodity sector in low-income economies were
previously imported by independent suppliers and
processors, for example foodstuffs for mineworkers or
the cutting of timber from logs into sawn wood. When
local capabilities are adequate, these activities can be
undertaken domestically and, where possible, close to
the point of commodity extraction.


Morris et al. (2012) created a general model of the
trajectory of backward linkage development and
the impact of industrial policy on it, taking account
the growing trend towards outsourcing by lead
commodity firms (figure 3.5).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


110


The horizontal axis reflects time. The vertical axis
represents value added in provision of inputs for
production of a commodity. The curve shows that,
as a general consequence of the outsourcing of
non-core competences, there is a market-driven
process of linkage development in which the lead
firm relinquishes the production of those inputs
that embody the least rent and that are thus least
profitable for them to produce.


Initially, the pace of outsourcing is low. With the
accretion of technological capacities by suppliers,
the pace of outsourcing speeds up. However, as
technological and scale requirements become very
demanding and as suppliers begin to stray into the
core competencies of the lead firm, the easy hits are
exhausted and the degree of outsourcing tails off.
Countries and suppliers with weak capabilities will be
located towards the bottom of this industry curve and
those with strong capabilities towards the top of the
curve.


We can therefore distinguish win-win and win-lose
linkages. Inputs that the lead commodity producers


have no interest in maintaining in house as they do
not reflect their core competences, and that they
wish to outsource to suppliers in their value chain,
are win-win linkages. Lead producers and local
suppliers and customers have a potential common
interest in developing efficient local linkages. For
example, lead commodity extraction companies may
want auditing, office provisions and utilities to be
provided by outsiders, and in the best of all cases,
by reliable and low-cost suppliers based as close to
their operations as possible.


Win-lose linkages are the range of inputs that
are central to a firm’s competitiveness and that it
is reluctant to see undertaken by a competitor
or outsourced. There may even be a conflict
of interest between lead firms and potential
suppliers and users. For example, in diamond
extraction lead firms are very reluctant—indeed,
have had to be forced—to allow local firms to cut
and polish or to be involved in the logistics that
guarantee their control over diamond supplies.
These are their core competences, and the
factors determining their profitability over time.


figure 3.5: different trAjectOries Of linkAge develOpment Over time


Time


Value added


DeepeningSpeeding up


Shallowing


Slowing down


Inside core
Competences -
win-lose


Outside Mining
Company core
competences -
win-win


Source: Morris et al. (2012).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


111


Contrary to the conventional wisdom of the
“resource curse”, therefore, it has now been argued
(see e.g. Morris et al., 2012), following Hirschman,
that linkage development in the resource sector
is possible. But these “linkage effects need time
to unfold” (Hirschman, 1981: 63). The older and
more established a particular resource sector, the
more likely that local linkages will have developed.
Moreover, the unfolding of linkages will vary by
sector, with the soft commodities at the one
extreme and deep-sea energy at the other (Morris
et al., 2012).


These linkage relationships are not immutable,
in pace or form. Depending on a variety of
determinants they can be altered by purposive state
and institutional policy intervention. In other words,
the curve in figure 3.5 can be deepened or made
shallower, and the process can be accelerated
or retarded as a result of effective, ineffective
or indeed absence of country-specific policy
implementation.13


For example, local content policies can move the
curve to the left, accelerating the development of
backward linkages, as in Angola where basic goods
and services are increasingly imported through local
firms. The breadth of linkages has increased, but
not the depth (Teka, 2011).


However, local content policies need to be matched
by industrial and business development policies as
well as high domestic capabilities in order not only
to speed linkage development, but to increase the
local value-added content of such linkages. This is
seen in Nigeria (chapter 5), where both the breadth
and the depth of local linkages have improved
(Oyejide and Adewuyi, 2011).


The lack of any local content policy and weak
industrial policy, in contrast, tend to slow
development of linkages for the range of supplies
sourced locally and local value addition. The gold-
mining value chain in Tanzania (see box 3.10) is
characterized by such dynamics, where mines
largely rely on imports and local businesses are not
supported in entering the supply chain (Mjimba,
2011).


Forward linkage development is subject to
similar dynamics. Beneficiation policies such as
Botswana’s (see box 3.13) can move the curve to


the left, speeding and deepening the development
of local value-added activities (Mbayi, 2011). Likewise,
Ethiopia’s export taxes combined with local upgrading
processes have shifted the composition of the
country’s exports from raw hides into intermediate and
final leather products (chapter 4).


each African country must develop its own
commodity-based industrialization strategy


Given the diversity of resource endowments,
social and economic backgrounds, and
geographical locations in Africa, the continent
cannot be shoehorned into a “one size fits all”
industrialization strategy. On the contrary, it has
a raft of potential strategies: development of a
modern service economy (tourism, information
technology, transport), low- and medium-tech
manufacturing development in countries endowed
with large domestic markets, and resource-
based industrialization in countries rich in natural
resources. Indeed, each country is likely to have
a multifaceted approach to industrializing and to
pursue more than one strategy. What links them all
is the necessity for African governments to take
action to overcome market failure.


Along this perspective, three different strategies for
resource-based industrialization can be pursued.


The first is to avoid competing simply on price and,
instead, to increase revenues from unprocessed
or semi-processed commodities by raising entry
barriers to other competitors. This can be done by
targeting the high end of the export market through
process upgrading and certification (Page, 2010).
This strategy can be effective for products such as
fresh vegetables and fruits, and speciality products
such as coffee and cocoa. The GVCs require
efficient service industries (for quality control,
transport and storage) and technologies. Among
commodity groups, fresh produce is the only one that
has experienced both price stability and long-term
positive price trends. Ethiopia (chapter 4), Kenya and
Zambia are following this strategy.


The lack of any local content policy
and weak industrial policy, in contrast,
tend to slow development of linkages
for the range of supplies sourced
locally and local value addition.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


112


The second strategy is to develop backward
linkages to commodity sectors. Booming
investment in the extractive industries is creating
large demand for goods and services. Oil and mine
companies prefer to focus on their core business
and outsource all non-core activities. Outsourcing
is facilitated when undertaken though local
rather than foreign suppliers, because it reduces
transaction costs and lead times (Morris et al.,
2012).


The advantage of this strategy is that it can be
easily anchored on lead firms, because they have
a commercial interest in developing efficient
local supply clusters. However, this is often not
possible because oil and mining companies are
not familiar with local suppliers, or because local
suppliers cannot meet their market parameters
or because of the long-standing policy of
multinationals. While with time, oil and mining
companies will tend to increase outsourcing to
competent local suppliers, African countries can
intervene strategically to both accelerate this
process and increase the value-added content of
the local supply chain. The African Mining Vision
offers a framework for greater engagement of
lead firms in the extractive minerals industry and
can help to set the modalities and conditions for
mineral beneficiation and establishment of local
supply clusters.


The third strategy consists of boosting industries
that process natural resources. These industries
represent on average half the manufacturing activity
in lower-middle income countries (Owens and Wood,
1997). A few factors can facilitate this strategy: lead
firms in consuming markets who want to relocate
their manufacturing; rising fuel costs, which can
generate weight or volume savings from processing;
and growing regional markets. For example, in the
context of relations with emerging economies such
as China and India and the need to establish a
strategy for engaging with them, it is important to
ensure no resource flight to them, by requiring local


content as well as technology and skills transfer to
the local workforce.


While much attention has traditionally focused on
the final stages of commodity-based GVCs, African
countries have considerable room to advance into
intermediate manufacturing stages in the short
term, as for sawn lumber, cellulose, fishmeal and
preserved fruits. Building on their natural resource
endowments, countries will find these industries
easier to reach than the final stages of beneficiation;
these industries will also provide opportunities for
learning, technological capabilities, economies of
scale and positive externalities (Reinhardt, 2000).


3.6 cOnclusiOns


A discussion of linkage development cannot be
conducted in abstract or aggregate terms, but
must be country specific, as no single policy has
proven to be successful in promoting linkages.
The experiences reviewed in this and subsequent
chapters highlight that a combination of policies
and factors have played a key role in influencing
the pace of value addition in Africa.


First, policies to promote value addition were
implemented with policies to raise productivity
and product quality in the natural resource
sector. Raising the output of the sector enabled
processing industries to reach economies of scale
and governments to sustain investment in ancillary
research and technological upgrading.


Second, in the early stages, processing industries
exported final products to developing countries and
intermediate products to industrialized countries.
Only at later stages was it possible to export final
products to meet the stringent requirements of
Northern markets. Such exports usually require a
global market presence acquired through GVCs’
brand distribution networks. This implies that
there is an opportunity for greater regional and
subregional market integration at pan-African
level. If African countries can facilitate such
integration, this would be equivalent to creating
large domestic markets that can help firms to
build their competitiveness in final products
before they attempt to penetrate industrial-
country markets.


Given the diversity of resource
endowments, social and economic
backgrounds, and geographical
locations in Africa, the continent cannot
be shoehorned into a “one size fits all”
industrialization strategy.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


113


Third, domestic firms’ capabilities facilitated linkage
development. In the early stages, industrialization
policies targeted domestic firms and built on
existing capabilities. However, the role of foreign
investors was also important and tended to
increase with the success of the industry, as more
FDI was attracted to the supply chain and to
processing activities. Further research is required
on whether it is possible to rely exclusively on FDI
for this type of linkage-based industrialization.
Countries such as Brazil, India, Indonesia and
Malaysia depended on domestically mobilized
capital to targeted sectors.


Finally, the right mix and sequencing of policies
were equally important. Export restrictions at
times helped to increase value-added content
of exports and domestic production. Sectoral
policies that selectively allocated resources
and created incentives to shift domestic capital
and entrepreneurship to targeted industries
were also important, as were efforts to build
technology and skills, which enabled domestic
firms to absorb foreign technologies, partner
with TNCs, catch up with competitors and then stay
competitive.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


114


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Annex tAbles


primary
commodities (%)


Of which (excluding precious stones and gold/food
commodities; %)


Agricultural raw
materials


Ores and Minerals Fuel


Central Africa


Central African Republic (2009) 97 11 62 0


Cameroon (2010) 80 15 40 0


Congo, Rep. (2010) 69 2 0 67


Gabon (2009) 94 9 3 81


São Tomé and Príncipe (2010) 95 1 0 0


East Africa


Burundi (2010) 92 4 5 0


Comoros (2007) 14 0 0 0


Djibouti (2009) 24 0 0 0


Eritrea (2003) 68 7 3 0


Ethiopia (2011) 90 8 1 0


Kenya (2010) 62 11 0 2


Madagascar (2010) 35 2 8 0


Rwanda (2011) 81 4 40 0


Tanzania (2011) 84 3 22 1


Uganda (2010) 64 5 1 1


Seychelles (2008) 42 0 0 0


North Africa


Algeria (2011) 88 0 0 87


Egypt (2011) 46 3 6 18


Morocco (2010) 35 2 12 2


Tunisia (2010) 23 1 2 13


Mauritania (2010) 92 0 20 0


Sudan (2009) 97 1 0 77


Southern Africa


Botswana (2011) 88 0 8 0


Lesotho (2009) 15 3 0 0


Malawi (2011) 90 5 9 0


Mauritius (2011) 39 1 1 0


Mozambique (2010) 91 4 53 18


Namibia (2008) 71 0 31 0


South Africa (2011) 61 2 32 9


Zambia (2010) 91 1 83 0


Zimbabwe (2010) 70 6 32 1


Swaziland (2007) 30 7 1 1


Annex tAble 3.1 cOmpOsitiOn And shAre Of AfricA’s merchAndise expOrts,
by cOuntry (lAtest AvAilAble yeAr)




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


121


West Africa


Benin (2010) 85 24 1 0


Burkina Faso (2010) 97 18 1 0


Cape Verde (2011) 85 0 1 0


Côte d’Ivoire (2011) 79 13 0 13


Gambia (2011) 41 6 1 0


Ghana (2011) 91 4 1 39


Guinea (2008) 89 3 52 0


Guinea-Bissau (2005) 100 0 1 0


Mali (2010) 93 8 0 0


Niger (2011) 93 2 69 0


Nigeria (2010) 82 2 1 76


Senegal (2011) 46 1 3 0


Sierra Leone (2002) 93 1 0 0


Togo (2011) 51 31 6 0


Source: Comtrade, retrieved from http://comtrade.un.org/, accessed 30 July 2012. Some countries have been excluded because data were older than 2000.


Note: For many countries, the sum of columns 2, 3 and 4, does not equal column 1. This is because column 1 includes food commodities (such as cocoa and
coffee), precious stones and gold, which are not represented in columns 2, 3 and 4.


top three export products (% of total merchandise
exports by product)


% of total
merchandise export
of top three export


products


central Africa


Central African Republic (2009) S3-2771 Industrial diamonds (62%)
S3-2475 Wood, non-conif, rough, unt (20%)
S3-2484 Wood of non-coniferous species, sawn or chipped
lengthwise, sliced or pee (11%)


93


Cameroon (2010) S3-3330 Crude petroleum (37%)
S3-0721 Cocoa beans, whole or broken, raw or roasted (16%)
S3-2484 Wood of non-coniferous species, sawn or chipped
lengthwise, sliced or peeled (6%)


59


Congo, Rep. (2010) S3-3330 Crude petroleum (65%)
S3-3425 Butanes, liquefied (2%)
S3-2475 Wood, non-conif, rough,unt (1%)


68


Gabon (2009) S3-3330 Crude petroleum (81%)
S3-2475 Wood, non-conif, rough, unt (7%)
S3-2877 Manganese ores and concentrates (including
manganiferous iron ores and co (3%)


91


São Tomé and Príncipe (2010) S3-0721 Cocoa beans, whole or broken, raw or roasted (85%)
S3-4211 Soya bean oil, fractions (4%)
S3-0739 Food preparations containing cocoa, n.e.s. (3%)


91


Annex tAble 3.2: AfricA’s cOmpOsitiOn And shAre Of tOp three expOrts, by
cOuntry (lAtest AvAilAble yeAr)




Economic Report on Africa 2013


122


East Africa


Burundi (2010) S3-0711 Coffee, not roasted (59%)
S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (11%)
S3-0741 Tea (9%)


79


Comoros (2007) S3-0752 Spices, ex. pepper, pimento (14%) 14


Djibouti (2009) S3-0222 Milk concentrated or sweetened (8%)
S3-0989 Food preparations, nes (7%)
S3-4222 Palm oil, fractions (3%)


18


Eritrea (2003) S3-0345 Fish fillets, frsh, child (13%)
S3-2911 Bone,horn,ivor.coral,etc. (9%)
S3-0341 Fish,fresh,chilled,whole (5%)


27


Ethiopia (2011) S3-0711 Coffee, not roasted (32%)
S3-2225 Sesame (Sesamum) seeds (13%)
S3-0545 Oth.frsh,chll.vegetables (10%)


55


Kenya (2010) S3-0741 Tea (23%)
S3-2927 Cut flowers and foliage (8%)
S3-0545 Oth.frsh,chll.vegetables (4%)


35


Madagascar (2010) S3-0361 Crustaceans, frozen (6%)
S3-0752 Spices,ex.pepper,pimento (5%)
S3-2878 Ore etc. molybdn. niob. etc. (4%)


15


Rwanda (2011) S3-2876 Tin ores and concentrates (24%)
S3-0711 Coffee, not roasted (18%)
S3-0741 Tea (13%)


55


Tanzania (2011) S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (36%)
S3-2891 Prec.mtl.ore,concentrats (11%)
S3-2877 Manganese ores and concentrates (including
manganiferous iron ores and co (10%)


58


Uganda (2010) S3-0711 Coffee, not roasted (17%)
S3-0345 Fish fillets,frsh,child (6%)
S3-0741 Tea (4%)


27


Seychelles (2008) S3-0371 Fish,prepard,presrvd,nes (27%)
S3-0352 Fish salted or in brine (13%)
S3-4111 Fat,oil,fish,mar.mammals (1%)


41


North Africa


Algeria (2011) S3-3330 Crude petroleum (49%)
S3-3432 Natural gas, in the gaseous state (18%)
S3-3431 Natural gas, liquefied (9%)


76


Egypt (2011) S3-3330 Crude petroleum (10%)
S3-3431 Natural gas, liquefied (6%)
S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (6%)


21


Morocco (2010) S3-2723 Natural calc.phosphates (6%)
S3-0371 Fish,prepard,presrvd,nes (3%)
S3-3352 Mineral tars and product (2%)


12


Tunisia (2010) S3-3330 Crude petroleum (13%)
S3-4214 Olive oil etc. (2%)
S3-0579 Fruit,fresh,dried, nes (1%)


16


Mauritania (2010) S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (34%)
S3-2831 Copper ores and concentrates (17%)
S3-0342 Fish,frozenex.fillets (17%)


67




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Sudan (2009) S3-3330 Crude petroleum (77%)
S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (14%)
S3-0012 Sheep and goats, live (2%)


93


Southern Africa


Botswana (2011) S3-6672 Diamonds excl. industrial (75%)
S3-2842 Nickel mattes,sintrs.etc. (6%)
S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (1%)


83


Lesotho (2009) S3-1110 Non-alcohol.beverage,nes (5%)
S3-2681 Wool, greasy (2%)
S3-6672 Diamonds, excl.industrial (2%)


10


Malawi (2011) S3-1212 Tobacco, wholly or partly stemmed/stripped (25%)
S3-1211 Tobacco, not stemmed/stripped (14%)
S3-0611 Sugars,beet or cane, raw (13%)


53


Mauritius (2011) S3-0371 Fish,prepard,presrvd,nes (12%)
S3-0612 Other beet,cane sugar (10%)
S3-0611 Sugars,beet or cane, raw (4%)


26


Mozambique (2010) S3-6841 Alum.,alum.alloy,unwrght (52%)
S3-3510 Electric current (12%)
S3-3431 Natural gas, liquefied (6%)


70


Namibia (2008) S3-6672 Diamonds excl.industrial (16%)
S3-2861 Uranium ores and concentrates (16%)
S3-0342 Fish,frozenex.fillets (7%)


39


South Africa (2011) S3-6812 Platinum (12%)
S3-3212 Oth.coal,notagglomeratd (8%)
S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (8%)


27


Zambia (2010) S3-6821 Copper, anodes, alloys (64%)
S3-6825 Copper plate,etc.15mm+th (9%)
S3-2831 Copper ores and concentrates (3%)


76


Zimbabwe (2010) S3-2842 Nickel mattes,sintrs.etc. (14%)
S3-1212 Tobacco, wholly or partly stemmed/stripped (13%)
S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (9%)


36


Swaziland (2007) S3-0611 Sugars,beet or cane, raw (14%)
S3-2514 Chem.woodpulp,soda,unbl (3%)
S3-2484 Wood of non-coniferous species, sawn or chipped
lengthwise, sliced or pee (2%)


18


West Africa


Benin (2010) S3-2631 Cotton (other than linters), not carded or combed
(22%)
S3-0123 Poultry, meat and offal (21%)
S3-0423 Rice,milled,semi-milled (21%)


65


Burkina Faso (2010) S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (69%)
S3-2631 Cotton (other than linters), not carded or combed
(17%)
S3-2225 Sesame (Sesamum) seeds (4%)


90


Cape Verde (2011) S3-0371 Fish,prepard,presrvd,nes (44%)
S3-0342 Fish,frozenex.fillets (36%)
S3-0362 Crustaceans, other than frozen, including flours, meals
and pellets of cr (1%)


82




Economic Report on Africa 2013


124


Côte d’Ivoire (2011) S3-0721 Cocoa beans, whole or broken, raw or roasted (27%)
S3-3330 Crude petroleum (12%)
S3-2312 Natural rubber exc.latex (10%)


49


Gambia (2011) S3-2690 Worn clothing,textls,rag (5%)
S3-0612 Other beet,cane sugar (3%)
S3-0371 Fish,prepard,presrvd,nes (3%)


11


Ghana (2011) S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (26%)
S3-3425 Butanes, liquefied (24%)
S3-3330 Crude petroleum (16%)


65


Guinea (2008) S3-2851 Aluminium ores and concentrates (40%)
S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (32%)
S3-2852 Alumina (aluminium oxide), other than artificial
corundum (11%)


83


Guinea-Bissau (2005) S3-0577 Edible nuts fresh,dried (99%)
S3-2821 Waste and scrap of cast iron (<1%)
S3-2475 Wood,non-conif,rough,unt (<1%)


100


Mali (2010) S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (79%)
S3-2634 Cotton, carded or combed (7%)
S3-0011 Bovine animals, live (2%)


89


Niger (2011) S3-2861 Uranium ores and concentrates (69%)
S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (9%)
S3-0545 Oth.frsh,chll.vegetables (3%)


81


Nigeria (2010) S3-3330 Crude petroleum (70%)
S3-3431 Natural gas, liquefied (3%)
S3-3425 Butanes, liquefied (2%)


75


Senegal (2011) S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (10%)
S3-0342 Fish,frozenex.fillets (4%)
S3-0341 Fish,fresh,chilled,whole (3%)


17


Sierra Leone (2002) S3-0711 Coffee, not roasted (87%)
S3-0721 Cocoa beans, whole or broken, raw or roasted (3%)
S3-0459 Buckwheat etc. unmilled (1%)


91


Togo (2011) S3-2631 Cotton (other than linters), not carded or combed
(31%)
S3-2723 Natural calc.phosphates (5%)
S3-9710 Gold, non-monetary excl. ores (4%)


40


Source: Comtrade, retrieved from http://comtrade.un.org/ (accessed 30 July 2012).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


125


1970 1980 1990 2000 2005 2009


Central Africa


Central African Republic 6.8 7.2 11.3 7.0 7.4


Cameroon 10.2 9.6 14.5 20.8 17.7


Chad 11.1 14.4 8.9 5.3


Congo, Rep. 7.5 8.3 3.5 4.0 4.5


Equatorial Guinea 1.4 6.2 18.2


Gabon 6.8 4.6 5.6 3.7 4.1 4.3


São Tomé and Príncipe 6.4


East Africa


Burundi 7.3 7.4 12.9 8.7 8.8


Comoros 3.9 4.2 4.5 4.4 4.3


Congo, Dem. Rep. 15.2 11.3 4.8 6.6 5.5


Djibouti 3.6 2.6 2.6


Eritrea 11.2 6.8 5.6


Ethiopia 4.8 5.5 4.8 4.0


Kenya 12.0 12.8 11.7 11.6 11.8 8.7


Madagascar 11.2 12.2 14.0 14.1


Rwanda 3.6 15.3 18.3 7.0 7.0 6.4


Tanzania 9.3 9.4 8.7 9.5


Uganda 9.2 4.3 5.7 7.6 7.5 8.0


Seychelles 7.4 10.1 19.2 13.1 11.8


Somalia 9.3 4.7 4.6


North Africa


Algeria 17.2 10.6 11.4 7.5 5.9 6.1


Egypt, Arab Rep. 12.2 17.8 19.4 17.0 16.0


Libya 4.7


Morocco 16.9 19.0 17.5 16.3 15.9


Tunisia 8.4 11.8 16.9 18.2 17.1 16.5


Mauritania 10.3 9.0 5.0 4.1


Sudan 7.8 7.5 8.7 8.6 6.9 6.8


Southern Africa


Angola 5.0 2.9 3.5 6.1


Botswana 5.1 5.1 4.5 3.7 4.2


Lesotho 4.7 8.4 14.6 14.0 20.5 17.0


Malawi 13.7 19.5 12.9 9.2 10.0


Mauritius 15.8 24.4 23.5 19.8 19.4


Mozambique 10.2 12.2 15.5 13.6


Namibia 9.2 13.8 12.8 13.6 14.7


Annex tAble 3.3: AfricA’s mAnufActuring vAlue Added, by cOuntry (% Of gdp,
selected yeArs)




Economic Report on Africa 2013


126


South Africa 22.8 21.6 23.6 19.0 18.5 15.1


Zambia 11.0 18.3 36.1 11.4 11.9 9.6


Zimbabwe 17.9 21.6 22.8 15.8 16.9 17.0


Swaziland 12.5 20.9 36.8 39.5 40.0 44.4


West Africa


Benin 8.0 7.8 8.8 7.5


Burkina Faso 17.1 15.2 15.2 16.2 14.6


Cape Verde 8.2 9.3 7.6 6.7


Côte d’Ivoire 10.3 12.8 20.9 21.7 19.3 18.0


Gambia 3.3 5.6 6.6 5.4 5.0 5.0


Ghana 13.2 8.1 9.8 10.1 9.5 6.9


Guinea 4.6 4.0 4.1 5.3


Guinea-Bissau 21.2 8.4 10.5


Liberia 4.0 7.7 9.5 12.4


Mali 7.9 6.5 8.5 3.8 3.2


Niger 4.6 3.7 6.6 6.8


Nigeria 2.8


Senegal 13.5 15.3 14.7 15.2 12.7


Sierra Leone 6.3 5.3 4.6 3.5


Togo 10.0 7.8 9.9 8.4 10.1


Source: African Development Indicators, http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/africa-development-indicators, accessed 30 June 2012. Empty cells denote
missing data.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


127


nOtes


1 Primary commodities are categorized according to the broadest United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development definition—that is, including not only food commodities, agricultural raw materials, minerals and fuel, but
also precious stones and gold.


2 This section relies heavily on ECA (2011).


3 The use of non-tariff barriers creates serious problems owing to the difficulties associated with its management as
well as its opacity in terms of the effect on beneficiaries.


4 The effect of foreign exchange restrictions on the current account is an overvalued official exchange rate, coupled
with some form of secondary market exchange rate.


5 In some case, such as Ghana and Zambia, governments even announced five-year plans and very ambitious targets.
In Algeria almost the whole economy was nationalized in 1966.


6 As an example, Nziramasanga (1995) cites the Zambian case: nationalizing the copper mining industry induced
a larger use of local inputs but it had no effect on the domestic process of technological knowledge accumulation,
because the latter was embodied in expatriate management.


7 On the strategy of FDI in developing countries, see Amsden (2001).


8 World Bank African Development Indicators, http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/africa-development-indicators,
accessed 30 June 2012.


9 Retrieved from http://unctadstat.unctad.org/ReportFolders/reportFolders.aspx, accessed 30 July 2012.


10 In this section, we refer in particular to resource-based manufacturing rather than primary processing. The latter is
often already undertaken in resource-rich African countries in hard commodities in the form of smelting and refining,
and in soft commodities in the form of post-harvest processing. Also, existing research has focused largely on
resource-based manufacturing.


11 See www.trademap.org/, accessed 30 August 2012.


12 Also the technical characteristics of the cocoa value chain facilitate trade in intermediate products rather than the
final one, as chocolate tends to deteriorate when transported (Roemer, 1979).


13 These processes, with concomitant forms of policy intervention, are discussed in detail in chapters 4, 5 and 6 for
some value chains and African countries; Morris et al. (2012) discuss other cases.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


1284




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


129


Making the Most of Linkages
in Soft (Food) Commodities 4




Economic Report on Africa 2013


130


PROCESSING PRIMARY SOFT COMMODITIES OPENS UP MAJOR POSSIBILITIES FOR
VALUE ADDITION AND COMMODITY-BASED INDUSTRIALIZATION IN AFRICA. HOWEVER,
IT REqUIRES LARGE AND RESOURCE-INTENSIVE INTERVENTIONS TO EXPAND AND
UPGRADE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION.


Agro-processing is one of the most developed manufacturing sectors
in Africa. Most countries have agro-processing industries, although


with significant variations among countries in size, international
competitiveness, breadth of processing capabilities (range of products),


depth of local value added, extent of backward linkages to agriculture,
and extent of forward linkages to domestic, regional and international


markets.


RESOURC
E-


IN
TE


N
S


IV
E


IN
TERVENTIO


N
S


A SUPPORTIVE POLICY ENVIRONMENT, HIGH
DOMESTIC FIRM CAPABILITIES AND COMMODITY


SECTOR REGULATORY FRAMEWORKS ARE CRUCIAL IN
UPGRADING COMMODITY PROCESSING FIRMS.


Government policies need
to encompass measures
targeting the processing
industries as well as the


natural resource sectors.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


131


These include export restrictions, important to increase the value-
added content of exports (in Indonesia and Malaysia) and of exports


and domestic production (Brazil). Sectoral policies that selectively
allocated resources and created incentives to shift domestic capital


and entrepreneurship to targeted industries were also important.
Substantial efforts in building technology and skills enabled domestic


firms to absorb foreign technologies, partner with multinational
corporations, catch up with competitors and maintain their long-term


competitiveness.


INTERVENTIONIST STATE POLICIES ARE CRUCIAL TO MAKE
THE MOST OF SOFT COMMODITIES.


INTE
RV


E
N


TI
O


N
IS


T S
TATE POLIC


IE
S


Despite intra-country
variations, most African


countries face challenges
such as market


requirements and stiff
international competition


in their efforts to integrate
forward into higher value


added activities.


M
A


R
K


E
T R


E
q


U
IR


E
M


E
N


TS
&



IN


TE
R


N
ATIO


N
A


L C
O


M
P


E
TITIO


N


COM
M


O
D


IT
Y


-
B


AS
ED


INDUSTRIA
LI Z


ATIO


N


EXPORT
RESTRICTIONS


SECTORAL POLICIES
INCENTIVES


... offer more opportunities for
value added products.


INDUSTRIAL
POLICY WITHIN
THE NATIONAL
DEVELOPMENT


PLANNING
FRAMEWORK.


REGIONAL AND
DOMESTIC MARKETS




Economic Report on Africa 2013


132


This chapter focuses on the extent to which Africa is making the most of linkages in soft commodities to drive a new process
of industrialization. Through case studies, it
deals with forward linkages (semi-processing,
processing and marketing) and backward
linkages (to farmer suppliers) along global value
chains (GVCs) in four soft-commodity sectors
(cocoa, coffee, tea and agro-products) with
examples from five countries (Nigeria, Ghana,
Cameroon, Ethiopia and Kenya).


The analysis focuses on the links within
the various GVCs driving these sectors and
connecting local producers to export end
markets. The discussion shows how the lead
commodity firms facilitate or obstruct the breadth
and depth of forward linkages, the factors that
constrain a shift by local firms into value-added
activities, and how government industrial policies
can influence domestic industrialization.1


The chapter finds that soft-commodity processing
opens up major possibilities for value addition
and commodity-based industrialization, but
it requires large and resource-intensive
interventions to expand and upgrade agricultural
output. By expanding domestic and regional
markets for inputs, these interventions will
create multiple opportunities and economies
of scale for developing backward linkages,
related to local production of inputs such as
fertilizers, small capital equipment and spare
parts, maintenance and repair, and so on—and
specialist service providers such as certification
bodies, laboratories and business support.


The countries in this chapter have generally
struggled to integrate forward into higher value
added activities such as processing, marketing
and distribution, to greater or lesser degrees.


The cocoa-processing industries in Ghana and
Nigeria are growing (though from a low base) as
seen in rising investment from private domestic
and foreign sources and, in Nigeria, public listed
companies. Public ownership remains important
in both countries, largely owing to the strategy
of global grinders to integrate backward into
producing countries, relocating their processing


and purchasing facilities and working closely
with local partners. Such integration helps them
to secure supplies and allows them to adjust
to changes in global chocolate manufacturers’
specifications on quality and price very fast. It is
also encouraged by policies to incentivize local
processing, in Nigeria for example. In Cameroon
by contrast, the weakness of the policy
framework and of domestic capabilities mean
that forward linkages are struggling to develop.


In Ethiopia’s coffee sector and Kenya’s tea sector,
the lack of government policy has hampered
linkage development, as has the fact that few
global coffee roasters and tea manufacturers—
the key drivers of these GVCs—have strategies
to relocate value-added stages to producing
countries. Coffee roasters, in particular, wish to
retain control of their key processing activities—
blending, roasting and grinding—which may
be justified by the short shelf life of roasted
products. Thus producing countries that want
to move into roasting coffee for export markets
must ensure very short lead times, as well as
blending and packaging capabilities.


The cocoa and tea value chains offer more
opportunities for local processing. Cocoa
intermediate products (but not chocolate) and
final tea products are more easily storable and
tradable.


Kenya’s upgrading has been impressive in
agro-products, as fresh-vegetable firms have
moved into high value added exports. Underlying
this are very high domestic capabilities to
meet exacting standards, coupled with a very
supportive policy framework that addresses
every stage of the value chain. Success has
been highly selective, however, as many smaller
farms and exporters have failed to keep up with


Soft-commodity processing opens up
major possibilities for value addition
and commodity-based industrialization,
but it requires large and resource
intensive interventions to expand and
upgrade agricultural output.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


133


global market requirements and have exited the
value chain.


Ethiopia’s case suggests that the upgrading
trajectory of commodity-producing countries
should be viewed within a framework that
goes beyond processing. Indeed, for producing
countries to reap higher revenues, an appropriate
strategy could be to target fast-growing,
speciality-coffee niche markets in a strategy
that requires moving further downstream into
marketing and distribution. It would also require
highly sophisticated capabilities for cultivating
consumer tastes, promoting products, and
managing brands and distribution networks—
while taking some ideas from how the wine
industry denominates its products


The experiences suggest that links to
international buyers are very important. For a
firm, searching buyers for its products is costly
but vital if it wishes to enter a GVC. Kenya’s
fresh vegetable exporters and Ghana’s cocoa-
processing firms have been fairly successful.
Their insertion into the value chains dates back
many decades, and they rely on relationships
that took a long time to build. This implies that
building these linkages is not easy or quick. For
Ethiopia’s coffee exporters or Cameroon’s cocoa-
processing firms, for example, it is very difficult
to find buyers interested in higher value added
products.


Once firms are inserted into a GVC, they have
to meet very demanding market requirements—
price, quality and lead times. Technical standards
are also crucial when the markets are Europe, the
US or Japan. “Private standards” based on social
and environmental sustainability apply to cocoa,
coffee and tea as much as to less traditional
agro-processed products.


Assistance from the firms driving these GVCs
therefore becomes very important to support
local upgrading. Kenya’s fresh vegetable
exporters and Ghana’s cocoa processors receive
support from their global buyers in technical and
non-technical areas, yet this is the exception
rather than the rule. Other exporters operate at
arm’s length, which is particularly problematic


when they have to meet private standards that
are becoming general-market rather than niche-
market requirements. By becoming general
requirements, these standards do not attract a
price premium, but still create compliance costs.


A key finding of these case studies is
that regional and domestic markets offer
opportunities for value-added products. Nigerian
cocoa-processing firms have found regional
and domestic markets for confectionaries and
beverages. Cameroon’s chocolate manufacturers
and Ethiopian roasted-coffee firms supply
domestic retailers. Being inserted into regional
value chains therefore offers the opportunity
to build firms’ capabilities in final-product
manufacturing, marketing (including brand
management) and distribution. This is particularly
important for countries that (unlike Nigeria for
chocolate and Ethiopia for coffee) do not have
large domestic markets. Indeed, an illustrative
example is provided by Ghana’s intermediate
cocoa producers that struggle to enter regional
markets, because these markets demand final
products—they are also seeing stiffer competition
from Asia, which could be problematic if this
trend curtails opportunities for African agro-
processing industries.


High domestic firm capabilities and a supportive
policy environment are essential in upgrading. A
large domestic market is not always necessary,
as seen with Kenya’s fresh vegetable exporters.
What is critical is that the competitiveness of the
natural resource sector affects possibilities of
developing forward linkages.2


Indeed, supply chain bottlenecks for local
commodities are hampering the competitiveness
of Africa’s processing industries. The opportunity
for processing firms to position themselves in quality-
driven GVCs is constrained by the low quality of coffee
or cocoa beans and poor post-harvest practices (such
as cold chains, handling and transport) in Cameroon,
Ethiopia and Nigeria, and by poor fresh vegetable
farming practices in Kenya. High quality attracts a
price premium in Ghana and Nigeria.


Regional and domestic markets offer
opportunities for value-added products.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


134


The regulatory frameworks therefore play an
important role, and the demise of marketing
boards has led to quality problems in most
countries. But even in the few countries that
retained institutional control over the commodity
sectors (Ethiopia and Ghana) quality problems
persist, particularly in Ethiopia, where such
control discourages buyer–supplier links from
upgrading growers’ capabilities. Such links have
proved to be important between cocoa growers
and processing firms in Ghana and Nigeria, and
between farmers and tea and fresh vegetable
exporters in Kenya. Indeed in Ethiopia, the only
coffee farmers’ cooperative included in the case
study is managing to address quality issues
primarily because it can work with growers.


Supply chain bottlenecks are not the only issue.
Costly access to finance and poor infrastructure
cut across all case studies, and other issues
include limited access to external markets, high-
cost environments, high import tariffs on inputs,
shortage of skills, corruption and security. These
areas affect the quality, cost competitiveness and
lead times of African processing firms. The policy
implications of these findings are addressed in
chapter 6.


4.1 cOcOA


The global value chain


A few countries in West Africa have traditionally
been key global suppliers of high-quality cocoa
beans (figure 4.1). Production is dominated by small
farmers. In Ghana alone, 720,000 small farmers are
involved in cocoa farming (Barrientos and Asenso-
Okyere, 2008). From the 1980s, the cocoa sector
has suffered from the twin challenges of declining
world prices and deteriorating quality.


The first stems from the entry of new producing
countries, especially in Asia—Malaysia, India
and Indonesia—which base production around
plantations as well as commercial and small
farms. The second stems from the removal of
national marketing boards as recommended by
structural adjustment programmes, and the fact
that traditional countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon
and Nigeria) began exporting previously restricted
inferior cocoa (Fold, 2002). Trade in poorer cocoa
was facilitated by automation, allowing grinders
to process cocoa beans of lower or inconsistent
quality into standardized intermediate products that
met the requirements of chocolate manufacturers.


figure 4.1: cOcOA prOductiOn in 2009/10 (thOusAnd metric tOns)


1400


1200


1000


800


600


400


200


0
Nigeria Ghana IndonesiaCôte d’Ivoire Cameroon


Source: ICCO (2012).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


135


In the world market, where cocoa prices have
increased (figure 4.2), the price surge has been


partly influenced by political instability in the world’s
largest producer, Côte d’Ivoire (box 4.1).


figure 4.2: wOrld cOcOA price, jAnuAry 1980–september 2012($ per metric tOn)


Source: IMF Primary Commodity Price monthly data, retrieved from www.imf.org/external/np/res/commod/index.aspx (accessed 20 October 2012).


4000


3500


3000


2500


2000


1500


1000


500


0


19
80


19
81


19
82


19
84


19
85


19
86


19
88


19
89


19
90


19
92


19
93


19
94


19
96


19
97


19
98


20
00


20
01


20
02


20
04


20
05


20
06


20
08


20
09


20
10


20
12


bOx 4.1: sOft-cOmmOdity price mOvements


Since 2002, world prices for agricultural commodities, including coffee, cocoa and tea, have
generally grown steeply. Record oil prices have led to higher production costs, which, with
environmental concerns, have led to land reallocated to biofuel production and from food
commodities. World supplies have been further eroded by adverse weather conditions and
declining investment, aid, research and development (R&D) and productivity in developing-
country agriculture since the 1990s. At the same time, a growing middle class in China, India and
other emerging markets has raised global demand for food commodities.


Lastly, the financialization of commodity markets—that is the entry of banks and other financial
institutions into commodities markets and the development of a range of financial instruments,
some highly volatile and short term—has increased speculative movements, allowing prices to go
far beyond levels dictated by market fundamentals (FAO, 2009; Farooki and Kaplinsky, 2012).


The price increases in nominal terms for coffee, cocoa and tea have been less dramatic than for
other food products (cereals, oilseeds) but also less vulnerable to the global economic downturn
(FAO, 2011).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


136


Processing


Broadly, there are three types of cocoa—
Forastero, Criollo and Trinitario (a hybrid of the
first two). These types have several varieties.
The Forastero variety is the most widely grown in
West Africa and Brazil. Primary processing starts
with harvesting (figure 4.3). Once cocoa beans are
extracted from fully ripened pods, they are left to


ferment for six to eight days. Next, fermented beans
are dried in sunlight or in artificial driers. Gradual
drying is preferred for preparing high-quality beans.
Great care must be taken in fermentation and
drying because any defect in these stages cannot
be subsequently rectified without affecting the
quality of the final product. The shelling nature,
colour, aroma and flavour of the dried beans
show whether they are well fermented or not.


figure 4.3: cOcOA–chOcOlAte glObAl vAlue chAin


Source: ECA and AUC.


Seeds
inputs


extension


Growing
fermentation


and drying


Beans


Roasting


Grinding


Cocoa
liquor


Cocoa
butter


Branding and marketing


Chocolate
manufacturing


Confectionary
and drinks


Cocoa
powder




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


137


The intermediate stage of the cocoa value chain
starts after the beans are cleaned and roasted, and
is capital intensive. After roasting, the beans are
cracked to extract the nibs. The nibs are ground
between heated grindstones or disc crushers,
resulting in a thick, fluid, cocoa liquor (or paste).


Cocoa liquor solidifies into hard brown blocks,
lumps or tablets after cooling. In this state it can be
used by confectionaries (chocolate manufacturers).
However, it is normally further processed into cocoa
butter (which results in a by-product called cocoa
cake) and into cocoa powder (box 4.2).


Cocoa intermediate products such as cocoa
paste, butter, powder and cake are easily storable
and tradable, two characteristics that have made
it possible to relocate processing facilities in
producing countries (Talbot, 2002).


Market concentration


Two types of lead firms dominate forward
linkages in the cocoa GVC: grinders and
chocolate manufacturers. They control the links
characterized by the highest value added and
profitability: trading and marketing (Barrientos
and Asenso-Okyere, 2008). Supermarkets,
which account for an estimated 54 per cent of
the global chocolate retail sector, are trying to
appropriate a larger share of the value added by
selling their own-brand products.


Increasing market concentration through mergers
and acquisitions has characterized both grinders
and chocolate manufacturers. Since the 2000s,
a handful of grinders have dominated the
intermediate stages of the cocoa GVC: Cargill,
Archer Daniels Midland and Barry Callebaut. They
control R&D and technologies in food processing,
and bulk logistics. This has created very high
knowledge and capital barriers to entry. In order
to manage large logistical systems, grinders


have vertically integrated backward, relocating
purchasing, grading and shipping functions
to producing countries. Their purchasing
arrangements vary: they deal with local traders
and cooperatives in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire,
purchase on the open market in Nigeria and
buy from the marketing board in Ghana. The
competitiveness of large grinders’ operations has
sidelined international traders and warehouses.


Chocolate manufacturing is dominated by a few
European and US transnational corporations
(TNCs), such as Nestlé, Mars and Ferrero (Fold,
2002). During the 1990s, these outsourced
intermediate manufacturing stages, in some
cases even standard chocolate production, to
grinders. This enabled them to focus on their
core business of product development, marketing
and distribution, as well as on high value added
products and markets differentiated by product
quality and by social and environmental standards
(Barrientos, 2011). The only exceptions are
smaller manufacturers like Ferrero and Lindt &
Sprüngli, which remain vertically integrated to
preserve commercial secrecy and tight quality
control systems.


To supply intermediate products on a just-in-time basis
and to comply with national standards, grinders have


bOx 4.2: cOcOA butter And cOcOA pOwder


Cocoa butter is one of the best-known stable fats, containing natural antioxidants that prevent
rancidity and give it a storage life of two to five years. It is used in food products (white
chocolate) and non-food goods (pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, soaps and lotions).


Cocoa powder, the solid product resulting from processing cocoa liquor, can be used alone
(cocoa drinks) or recomposed with other ingredients (biscuits, sweets and chocolates).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


138


invested in technological and logistical capabilities,
increasing their market power along the GVC.
Chocolate manufacturers nevertheless are interested


in maintaining some competition in the intermediate
stages of the value chain, to avoid grinders encroaching
on their core businesses and profits.


figure 4.4: sAlient elements Of the cOcOA vAlue chAin


• Many intermediate “discrete” processing stages


• Storabulity, tradability


• High concentration


• Entry of new producers


• Reverse in price decline but weak supply response


• Dual governance power: grinders and chocolate manufacturers


• Partial localisation of intermediate processing stages


• Quality/Volume/Sustainability


Source: ECA and AUC


Technical


Industry


Lead firms


Challenges for producers and manufacturers


The global market for chocolate can be divided
into three segments: high-volume, low-value bulk
chocolate; mainstream standard-quality chocolate;
and high-quality niche markets, such as single
origin, Fair Trade and organic (Barrientos, 2011).
Global consumption is driven by demand growth for
low-value chocolate in emerging economies. Niche
product markets have grown far faster than low-


value and conventional product markets, although
from a low base, which is why quality, diversification
and brands are key for manufacturers.


Developing countries’ contribution to value added in
the GVC fell by half between the early 1970s and
the end of the 1990s (World Bank, 2008). In Africa,
producing countries are excluded from control
over global logistics and marketing, and from
intermediate and final product manufacturing.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


139


Nigeria’s cocoa industry


Nigeria is the world fourth-largest cocoa producer.
Cocoa has been the largest non-oil export since
2007 (figure 4.6). In 2006–2010, cocoa exports


rose by 47 per cent to $822.8 million. But only
about 20 per cent of the cocoa output is processed
locally, with the rest exported as raw beans
(Mwanma, 2011). Chocolate, however, is heavily
imported into Nigeria from Europe and the US.


Moreover, the supply response of cocoa bean
production to the price surge in the 2000s has
been very slow (Barrientos, 2011). This is not only
attributable to long time lags (five years between
planting and first harvesting) but also to low farm-
gate prices over two decades, deterring farmers.


Chocolate manufacturers need to respond to
the twofold challenge of increasing the volume
of production, and the quality of cocoa beans.
Moreover, growing consumer concern for
sustainable development, has led, for example, to
the Netherlands market committing to 100 per
cent certified sustainable cocoa by 2025. For these
reasons, chocolate manufacturers are becoming
involved in initiatives with growers in producing
countries. The International Cocoa Initiative brings


together companies, politicians, civil society and
workers to fight child trafficking and illicit labour
practices. The Sustainable Trade Initiative cocoa
programme brings together more than 40 per cent
of the worldwide cocoa-processing industry and
30 per cent of worldwide chocolate manufacturing
businesses to support sustainable production of
cocoa in Brazil, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador,
Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria and Vietnam.


Processing links are weak in all three cocoa case
study countries (figure 4.5). In Ghana, the largest
producer by far and exporting more than $3.5
billion of cocoa, raw bean exports represent 76
per cent of the total, Nigeria 83 per cent (of $1
billion)and Cameroon 87 per cent (of almost $0.7
billion).


figure 4.5: vAlue-Added cOntent Of cOcOA expOrts, ghAnA, nigeriA And
cAmerOOn 2011 ($ thOusAnd)


4,000,000


3,000,000


2,000,000


1,000,000


-
Nigeria CameroonGhana


Source: ITC Trademap, retrieved from www.trademap.org/SelectionMenu.aspx (accessed 30 August 2012).


Stage 1: cocoa beans Stage 2: cocoa shells Stage 3: cocoa paste Stage 4: cocoa butter
and powder


Stage 5: chocolate




Economic Report on Africa 2013


140


figure 4.6: nigeriAn federAl gOvernment revenues frOm nOn-Oil expOrts,
2006–2010 ($ milliOn)


Source: Nigerian Export Promotion Council data.


Note: Sheep, goatskin and leather data are unavailable for 2010.


Cocoa Sheep, goat skin and leather Rubber Plastics Cotton, yarns & fabrics


Background


Nigeria’s cocoa-processing industry was established
between the 1960s and the 1970s, with three
factories set up in the south-west (Iyama, 2007). In
the following decades, more factories were set up
in the western states. Most processing companies,
national and international, are private, and some are
listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.3 Processors
are organized under the umbrella of the Cocoa
Processors Association of Nigeria (COPAN). They
are fairly important for income, with each factory
employing about 200 workers and providing up to
1,000 indirect jobs.


Nigerian processing companies are involved in
both intermediate and final stages of the cocoa–
chocolate value chain. Companies such as Multitrex
Integrated Foods Plc, Tulip Cocoa Processing Ltd
and Stanmark Cocoa Processing Company Ltd


produce cocoa butter, cake, liquor and powder. TNCs
such as Cadbury Plc and Nestlé produce beverages
(Bournvita and Milo) and confectionaries.


Five firms’ perceptions


Five medium to large processing firms were
selected for this case study. Three out of the five
are state owned, two of which have foreign minority
ownership. Some of these companies are part of
conglomerates, and directly control other subsidiaries
in Nigeria. All but one are listed on the Nigerian Stock
Exchange. According to information collected through
face-to-face interviews in 2012, the firms’ core
businesses are manufacturing intermediate products,
confectionaries and beverages, and trading cocoa
and other agro-products.


Europe represents the bulk of their export market,
absorbing as much as 97 per cent of one company’s


900


800


700


600


500


400


300


200


100


0
2006 2008 2009 20102007




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


141


Cocoa Sheep, goat skin and leather Rubber Plastics Cotton, yarns & fabrics


output. New export markets are China, India and
North America. Major buyers include local and
international traders, wholesalers and retailers. Two
firms producing beverages and confectionaries
export 35–55 per cent of their output to regional
markets, highlighting that regional markets open
opportunities for higher value added products,
unlike developed-country markets where TNCs
tightly control the final stages of the cocoa GVC.


The five firms were asked to rate the weight
attached by their buyers to six market parameters,
or critical success factors (CSFs), on a Likert
scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very important, 1


unimportant),4 which are represented on radar
charts.


According to the firms, key critical success factors
are good quality, trust and lead times (figure 4.7).
Different markets have different expectations of
price and quality. Domestic markets are easier to
supply because of low trade barriers, but foreign
markets offer a price premium for high-quality
cocoa. Relations with buyers tend to be at arm’s
length—when cocoa-processing firms fail to
meet CSFs, foreign buyers do not assist them but
rather sanction them by excluding them from the
supply chain.


The cocoa-processing firms identify opportunities
for upgrading by moving further up the cocoa–
chocolate value chain (by producing ready-to-drink
chocolate, for example, but they need to resolve
challenges first) and diversifying horizontally (by
producing such products as palm kernel oil, palm
kernel cake, sesame, cotton, cashew and ginger).


Consistent with their own international buyers,
cocoa-processing firms place heavy emphasis on
good quality, trust and lead times when dealing
with their suppliers (figure 4.8). Again, price


competitiveness is not the most important CSF.
Based on their experience, firms rated local suppliers
as underperforming compared with foreign suppliers.
Preference for foreign suppliers over local suppliers
was more marked in trust and in learning/innovation.
(The firms noted some improvement in suppliers’
capability in price competitiveness and quality.)


Supplier performance is very important for the firms’
competitiveness. Over time, Nigeria’s weak extension
services have resulted in poor quality of cocoa bean
supplies.


Pr
ic


e
co


m
pe


tit
iv


en
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s


Le
ad


ti
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es


Tr
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G
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d
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ex
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le
p


ro
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ct
io


n
sy


st
em


Le
ar


ni
ng


/ i
nn


ov
at


io
n


figure 4.7: buyers’ criticAl success fActOrs in nigeriA’s cOcOA industry


Source: Interviews with five processing firms, 2012.


7.0 9.2 6.4 9 6.6 9.2


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Economic Report on Africa 2013


142


To address some of these supply chain bottlenecks,
cocoa-processing firms often assist suppliers to
meet technical standards by imparting training
on farming best practices and by providing high-
quality seedlings. The firms monitor suppliers’
compliance with standards, and have allocated
from 2 to 30 staff, depending on the firm’s size, to
monitor and assist suppliers. The firms also work
with external facilitators such as the Sustainable
Trade Initiative, International Finance Corporation
and United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) in training, finance and input
support services.


Other constraints affect the cocoa-processing
industry (figure 4.9). Access to finance is
marginally the worst. A medium-sized factory
requires about 3 billion in capital to operate
profitably, plus working capital to purchase
thousands of tons of beans. Borrowing costs are
as high as 20–23 per cent a year for working
capital. At the same time, capacity utilization
is low, which makes it difficult to absorb fixed
operating costs. The capital market therefore
discourages investment in value-added activities
for both new and existing firms.


The industry is also affected by poor infrastructure—
electricity supply, water, telecoms, road/transport
networks—and security. In particular, private energy
generation raises product costs steeply, with an
average expense of N1 billion on fuel a year by the
industry (COPAN, 2010).


Supply chain bottlenecks relate not only to high
costs and inadequate supplies of cocoa beans
to local factories, but also to high costs of spare
parts for imported machinery that are unavailable in
Nigeria (COPAN, 2010).


Access to external markets is problematic because of
tariff escalation (see Factors in linkage development,
chapter 3). Under the EU tariff regime, raw cocoa
beans are duty free. But as Nigeria has not signed an
Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU, the
country cannot benefit from trade preference margins
of 4.2 per cent for cocoa butter and 6.1 per cent
for liquor/cake, which loses the processing industry
about $30 million a year. The impact of the tariff
structure on value-added products is compounded by
the cost difference between processing companies,
which have high overheads and labour costs, and
cocoa bean traders.


figure 4.8: rAting Of lOcAl And fOreign suppliers relAtive tO leAd-firm
expectAtiOns in nigeriA’s cOcOA-prOcessing industry


Source: Interviews with five processing firms, 2012.


8.0Local suppliers


Foreign suppliers


10CSFs 7.0 9.6 8.8 8.4 8.0 9.2


6.8 7.8 7.6 6.0 7.8


7.2 8.8 8.0 8.8 9.0 9.6


Pr
ic


e
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m
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tit
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en
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Le
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ti
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Tr
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ex
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p


ro
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ct
io


n
sy


st
em


Le
ar


ni
ng


/ i
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ov
at


io
n


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


143


Nigeria does not have an industrial policy for
cocoa processing, but provides incentives for
manufacturers and processors in general, the
most important of which for cocoa exporters is the
Export Expansion Grant (EEG).5 Given that cocoa-
processing firms are involved in exporting, they are
entitled to these incentives.


The EEG is the most relevant for forward linkages
to the cocoa sector. An employment quota for
processing firms to be eligible for EEG is another
indirect incentive to increase local skills. The EEG
has encouraged cocoa-exporting companies to
embark on forward integration and undertake
heavy investment in plant and machinery, although
implementation is often problematic. Surveyed
firms noted cumbersome application procedures
and delays in processing and paying grants:
the 2008/09 EEG, for example, had yet to be
disbursed in 2012, and COPAN in 2009 had


to petition the federal government to urgently
release EEG funds as firms faced a liquidity crisis.
Similarly, equipment and spare parts are meant to
be free of import duty under the New Manufacture
in Bond Scheme but cocoa-processing firms are
almost always forced to pay duty. They are too
vulnerable to argue for duty-free treatment when
importing because they need the inputs urgently, and
any clearance delays would invariably cause them
production losses.


One of the severest constraints for developing
forward linkages is that, while the processing stages
of the cocoa value chain have incentives, cocoa
bean production has none. The deregulation of the
domestic cocoa market in the 1990s, in the absence
of an overall sector strategy, have created problems
for cocoa bean quality and incentives to value
addition. Policy synergy is essential for the success
of linkage industries (box 4.3).


Q
ua


lit
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of
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pu
ts


A
va


ila
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lit
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of
in


pu
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Im
po


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ta


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fs


o
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im
po


rte
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go
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s
Po


or
in


fra
st


ru
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A
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to
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na
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ar
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ts
S


ki
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a
va


ila
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lit
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La
bo


ur
c


os
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G
en


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p
ol


ic
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nm


en
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A
cc


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to
fi


na
nc


e
C


or
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pt
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S
ec


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ity


R
oa


d
tra


ns
po


rt
ne


tw
or


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C
os


t e
nv


iro
nm


en
t


figure 4.9: rAting Of fActOrs Affecting linkAge develOpment in nigeriA’s
cOcOA industry


Source: Interviews with five processing firms, 2012.


6.0 5.4 7.4 6.6 8.4 8.4 8.4 1.6 6.2 6.2 9.0 6.6 7.6


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Economic Report on Africa 2013


144


Nigeria lacks an industrial skills training programme
for cocoa processing. The state makes little
effort to orient public activities in infrastructure,
R&D or human capital development for industrial
development and value addition in this industry.
Cocoa-processing firms themselves, however, invest
in workers’ training and education programmes,
enabling them to maintain good manufacturing
practices and obtain international certification.


Ghana’s cocoa industry


Ghana is the world’s second-largest cocoa
producer, and cocoa is the country’s second-biggest
foreign exchange earner (after gold), accounting
for 23 per cent of merchandise export earnings
in 2011—the industry generated around $3.5
billion in export earnings, as the world market price
gained by about 81 per cent over the previous
half decade. Cocoa provides a livelihood for over
700,000 farmers, mainly in the south. The crop also


accounted for 5 per cent of government revenues
in 2005, through export taxes. In 2010, Ghana’s
strong receipts from trade taxes were mainly due to
cocoa export revenues (ISSER, 2011). Cocoa was
also one of the major drivers of Ghana’s economic
growth, increasing its share of GDP from 2.5 per
cent in 2008 to 3.6 per cent in 2011.


The proportion of cocoa exports processed
domestically has doubled from about 12.4 per cent
in 2007 to 25.6 per cent (226,200 metric tons) in
2011. This suggests strong growth prospects for
the industry as it moves up the value chain.


Role of the Ghana Cocoa Board


Unlike many other producing countries, Ghana in
the 1990s did not dismantle its cocoa marketing
body, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD).
While allowing private, registered buyers to control
domestic marketing, Ghana retains government


bOx 4.3: AgriculturAl, industriAl And trAde pOlicies wOrking
tOgether fOr mAlAysiA’s pAlm Oil industry


Malaysia is the world’s largest producer and exporter of palm oil. The industry’s success rests on a
range of agricultural, industrial and trade policies.


In the 1970s, production of palm oil was expanded through a resettlement programme and the
conversion of plantations from rubber to oil palm (Fold, 2002). Palm oil cultivation expanded
from 55,000 hectares in 1960 to 3.4 million hectares in 2000 (Kjöllerström and Dallto, 2007).
The government established regulatory agencies in areas such as quality control and contract
registration, and invested in R&D in agricultural productivity, value-added industries and quality
improvements.


Local capital, sometimes in joint ventures with Indian and Japanese companies, invested in milling
and refining industries, which became increasingly competitive in developing countries’ export
markets. With time, these companies became more concentrated and vertically integrated, and
state capital became more prominent in plantations and milling operations (Fold, 2002). A key
role was played by the export duty system which from the 1960s systematically favoured local
processing into semi-processed oil products, final consumer goods and advanced chemical
products.


In later years, as palm oil became a traditional industry, Malaysia targeted diversification into new
industries and set incentives to produce and export cocoa (Talbot, 2002). By the mid-1990s, it
had become the world’s largest cocoa butter exporter, before slipping to second place after the
Netherlands.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


145


control over exports and, critically, over grading
and quality assurance. Quality control in particular
is exercised along the whole value chain in the
country (figure 4.10). Ghana’s cocoa beans have
high fat content and rich flavour, owing partly to
careful fermentation and drying processes by
farmers.


The Cocoa Research Institute (an arm of
COCOBOD) is responsible for research into pests
and diseases; it also introduces control measures.
In 2001, the Cocoa National Disease and Pest
Control Committee was established to develop
strategies to control capsid and blackpod through
a nationally coordinated spraying programme.
Under this, COCOBOD, through a network of
regional offices, sprayedall cocoa fields at no cost
to producers, containing the threat. Under the
Cocoa Hi-technology programme, which began in
2002/03, farmers were supplied with packages
of fungicides, pesticides and fertilizers to help
increase their yields.


Because of its ability to guarantee higher-quality
beans, COCOBOD provides more stable prices
for Ghanaian producers by selling a large share of
its production directly on forward markets. It also
secures a price premium of around $200–250 a
metric ton. COCOBOD sets pan-seasonal and pan-
territorial producer prices in advance of the harvest
(Fold, 2002), moves supported by the lead buyer in
the value chain, Cadbury, which has sourced cocoa
from Ghana for over a century. Its demand for
single-origin, quality-certified cocoa means that the
company has an interest in COCOBOD retaining
full responsibility for quality control of all production
stages.


Although quality remains high, Ghana suffers from
structural constraints to productivity growth owing
to an ageing farming population, poor extension
services and weak infrastructure (Barrientos, 2011).
In 2008, Cadbury launched the Cocoa Partnership
with a view to working with stakeholders to promote
sustainable livelihoods. As part of this effort, Cadbury
converts some of its lead products into Fair Trade, to
pass to Ghanaian producers a minimum guaranteed


price and a price premium. Nestlé adopted a similar
approach in 2009.


Four firms’ perceptions


The cocoa-processing firms selected for Ghana’s
case study are a publicly owned company
established in 1965, and three locally owned,
recently established private companies. They
employ 100–277 workers each, skilled and
unskilled equally. These firms are positioned at
different stages of the value chain. One firm is
involved in roasting, grinding and packaging, and
exports cocoa liquor. The remaining firms are
further downstream, in pulverizing activities, and
producing cocoa butter and powder.


The four firms export mainly to European buyers.
Their main competition comes from large grinders
in Ghana—Barry Callebaut and Cargill in Tema, and
Archer Daniels Midland in Kumasi—and several
local exporters. The only firm producing higher
value added products directs 10 per cent of its
output to domestic and regional markets, which are,
however, difficult to supply, as they demand finished
products (European buyers want intermediate
products).


For the firms, quality, price and trust are the highest
CSFs set by their buyers (figure 4.11). Buyers
ensure high-quality supplies from their Ghanaian
cocoa-processing suppliers by building trust-
based relationships, which provide a premium for
quality and assist in firms’ upgrading. The market
also has requirements, including national technical
regulations: Japanese buyers are quality driven,
Israeli buyers require Kosher certification, and so
forth.


Linkages to buyers support these firms in various
ways: European buyers buy forward, helping the
firms to plan properly; Egyptian buyers supply
them with labels to ensure compliance with their
corporate and government standards. Buyers
also assist firms by recommending materials and
equipment and sometimes by providing technical
support.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


146


figure 4.10: ghAnA’s cOcOA vAlue chAin


Source: ECA and AUC


Extension and
input providers Individual


buyers


Small holder
farmer


Collection and
bagging


foreign & local


Quality assurance
at up-country


Haulers of cocoa
by private haulers


Quality assurance at
the port on arrival from


up-country


Warehousing and
other logistics


Sales


Quality assurance
and sealing at port


Retailers


G
hana cocoa board


subsidiaries except haulers
B


an
k


an
d


cr
ed


it
fa


ci
lit


at
or


s
do


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es


tic


an
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l s
hi


pp
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g
en


tit
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s,


N
G


O
s


&
o


th
er


s Domestic grinders


Local
consumers


Farmer
association


Collection
and


bargaining


Manufactures
of chocolate &
other products


Warehouses
EU/USA


Chocolate/confectionary
market


Shipping lines Multinational brokers/
trade hses


Grinders
EU & USA


Distributors of
chocolate and


others


Domestic chocolate
and other


manufacturers


A
ctivities w


ithin G
hana


A
ctivities outside G


hana




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


147


The CSFs set by international buyers are passed
down the value chain to cocoa bean suppliers.
Quality, trust, price, learning/innovation and lead
times are very important market requirements for


local suppliers (figure 4.12). Cocoa-processing
firms feel that foreign suppliers are more
competitive than local ones, particularly on quality
and trust.


figure 4.11: buyers’ criticAl success fActOrs in ghAnA’s cOcOA industry


Source: Interviews with four processing firms, 2012.


8.7 9.7 7.7 8.0 7.0 9.3
Pr


ic
e


co
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pe
tit


iv
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es
s


Pr
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ni
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/ i
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ov
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Le
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ni
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/ i
nn


ov
at


io
n


figure 4.12: rAting Of lOcAl And fOreign suppliers relAtive tO leAd-firm
expectAtiOns in ghAnA’s cOcOA industry


Source: Interviews with five processing firms, 2012.


10 10 7.8 8.8 8.8 9.0


6.7 5.3 5.8 5.3 6.7 6.0


8.3 8.3 7.8 6.3 8.7 8.5


Local suppliers


Foreign suppliers


CSFs


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Economic Report on Africa 2013


148


Local suppliers face serious constraints in capital,
skills and entrepreneurship. Poor infrastructure
and unreliable electricity make it very hard to adopt
just-in-time procurement strategies, because
deliveries are delayed, down-time costs are high,
and communication is difficult. In their relationship
with suppliers, however, cocoa-processing firms go
beyond monitoring activities, and assist them with
quality and delivery times, helping to improve the
suppliers’ capabilities.


All the surveyed cocoa-processing firms identify
upgrading opportunities for moving into higher
value added products than their current output—
cocoa butter, powder and liquor—as well as
manufacturing chocolate and drinks. That move
is constrained primarily by access to capital,
infrastructure, costs and corruption (figure 4.13).
Another key issue is small market size for finished
products.


Cocoa production in Ghana has recorded strong
growth, increasing from 340,600 metric tons in
2001/02 to 1 million tons in 2011, stimulated by
policy interventions and high world prices. Measures
include controlling diseases and pests (often through
COCOBOD), encouraging farmers to rehabilitate
and replant old and moribund farms, and applying
fertilizer. Steps to enhance farmers’ welfare include
a remunerative producer price at least 70 per cent
of the net projected FOB value to farmers; periodic
bonuses; a national health insurance scheme and
clinics; and scholarships at secondary school.


The government has also made a commitment
to take internal processing to at least 40 per
cent through support for domestic processing
companies in the form of price discounts, extended
credit payment, permission to import essential
machinery, and enforcement of export processing
zone status for companies there. Surveyed firms
reported that export processing zones have been
well set up, attracting foreign direct investment
from global cocoa grinders.


Q
ua


lit
y


of
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pu
ts


A
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lit
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of
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pu
ts


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o
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s
Po


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in


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A
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na
l m


ar
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ts
S


ki
lls


a
va


ila
bi


lit
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bo


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c


os
ts


G
en


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al


p
ol


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y


en
vi


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nm


en
t


A
cc


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s


to
fi


na
nc


e
C


or
ru


pt
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n


S
ec


ur
ity


R
oa


d
tra


ns
po


rt
ne


tw
or


ks


C
os


t e
nv


iro
nm


en
t


Source: Interviews with four processing firms, 2012.


figure 4.13: rAting Of fActOrs Affecting linkAge develOpment in ghAnA’s
cOcOA industry


7.3 3.8 3.3 1.3 8.3 4.5 4.8 3.8 6.0 4.0 8.3 6.5 4.3


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


149


2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


figure 4.14: cAmerOOn’s vAlue-Added cOntent Of cOcOA expOrt vOlume,
2007–2011 (%)


Cameroon’s cocoa industry


The bulk of Cameroon’s cocoa is exported as raw
beans: in 2011 only 28,397 metric tons of the total
218,702 metric tons of cocoa was locally processed
(according to the Office National du Café et du


Cacao, the regulatory body)—a mere 13 per cent. In
2007–2011, less than 8 per cent was transformed
locally (figure 4.14). Despite the authorities’ interest
in and efforts to promote local processing, integration
between agriculture and the industry remains dismal.


100%


90%


80%


70%


60%


50%


40%


30%


20%


10%


0%


Source: Office National du Café et du Cacao, 2012. http://www.freeyengo.com/services/food-amp-dinning-in-cameroon/office-national-du-cacao-et-du-
cafeoncc-331.htm, accessed 30 September 2012.


Processed cocoa Unprocessed cocoa


The processing industry is controlled by a handful
of foreign and domestic companies, most of them
in intermediate-product manufacturing, which has
been largely dominated by Société Industrielle
des Cacaos (SIC Cacaos) since it was set up
in 1949. Under majority Swiss ownership (and
minority public participation) the company has
a processing throughput of 30,000 metric tons
a year and employs around 100 workers. The
firm now faces competition from other smaller
domestic processing companies, employing
20–30 workers. New investment in Mbalmayo,


in the centre of the country, has targeted cocoa
processing, and is exporting mainly to China.


Finished cocoa products have also been
dominated by one firm for several decades—
Chococam, the country’s sole processor. It has
nearly 60 per cent of the domestic chocolate
market, and exports to regional markets. But this
company, too, now faces stiff competition, this
time from Asia, whose finished products have
an increasing share in domestic and subregional
markets.




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150


The highest-ranked CSFs applied by cocoa-
processing firms to their suppliers are trust, lead
times, quality, flexibility, price and innovation (figure
4.16). Local suppliers underperform in two critical
areas—quality and price.


The government has a strategy to revive production
of major cash crops. In 2006, the Société de
Développement du Cacao embarked on a vast
cocoa-seedling production and distribution
programme. The aim was to distribute 6 million
seedlings yearly to set up 5,000 hectares of modern
cocoa plantations. Surplus production stemming from
these new plantations was intended to reach 50,000
metric tons by 2020. However, structural problems


of access to capital, skills and infrastructure, in
particular electricity, remain and have prevented
cocoa growers from becoming competitive.


Growers’ poor practices in cocoa-bean harvesting
and drying, aggravated by poor road conditions,
cause large losses of supplies and late deliveries
for processors. Firms often organize awareness
campaigns and workshops to train growers on
best harvesting and drying practices. Some have
introduced bonuses to encourage farmers to
produce higher-quality beans.


The three firms show little interest in moving into
higher value added activities, mainly because


Three firms’ perceptions


The case study on Cameroon cocoa-processing
industry covered SIC Cacaos and two of its
smaller competitors. SIC Cacaos is linked to the
GVC dominated by European and US chocolate
manufacturers, which absorb 95 per cent of its
production.


The two domestic competitors target wholesalers
in Asia, particularly China, and wholesalers and


retailers in the domestic market. Both have
experienced substantial sales growth.


For the Asian market, quality, trust and lead times
are CSFs for the three firms. The domestic market
is less demanding, allowing them to move further
downstream into chocolate manufacturing. But they
find it very hard to enter industrial-country GVCs
because of high entry barriers related to standards
and price. Trust, lead times, quality and price emerge
as the key CSFs for the firms (figure 4.15).


figure 4.15: buyers’ criticAl success fActOrs in cAmerOOn’s cOcOA industry


Source: Interviews with three processing firms, 2012.


8.7 9.3 8.0 9.3 7.7 10


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High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
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(0-2)


Low importance
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0 2 4 6 8 10


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Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


151


of supply chain bottlenecks. SIC Cacaos has
produced the same semi-finished products for
several years, although the two smaller firms are
diversifying into detergent, potash and biogas,


and cocoa by-products (alkaloid used in wine
production). Any upgrading strategy is constrained
by access to skills, external markets and
infrastructure (figure 4.17).


figure 4.16: rAting Of lOcAl And fOreign suppliers relAtive tO leAd-firm
expectAtiOns in cAmerOOn’s cOcOA industry


Source: Interviews with five processing firms, 2012.


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figure 4.17 rAting Of fActOrs Affecting linkAge develOpment in cAmerOOn’s
cOcOA industry


6.0 6.3 4.7 4.3 6.3 4.7 7.0 8.3 6.0 3.8


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance (
6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


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(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


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Medium
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(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


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very low
importance
(0-2)


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(2.1-4.0)



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Local suppliers


Foreign
suppliers


9.06.0 6.7 7.3 8.5
3.0


8.3 9.0 9.3 10 6.0 10




Economic Report on Africa 2013


152


Cameroon has no linkage development strategy
for cocoa. The government has developed
a Support Programme for the Creation and
Development of Small and Medium-sized
Enterprises in processing and preserving local
products of mass consumption. But according
to the surveyed firms, such government support
has been largely ineffective. The challenge for
the Cameroon policy framework lies mainly
in institutional arrangements, with too many
ministries, bodies and laws involved in developing
small and medium-sized enterprises.


Implementation capacity is also low, and red tape
is a drawback in applying laws and regulations, and
in accessing finance under government schemes


(one of the companies has been waiting for
financing for nearly three years). As a result, local
processing activities receive very little support to
expand capacity and raise their value added. This
is particularly problematic because, unlike Ghana
and Nigeria, Cameroon has not seen investment
in its processing capabilities from international
or domestic companies. Given the weakness of
domestic processing, government support is critical
if Cameroon is to attract investment and build
domestic competitiveness.


A three-country cocoa comparison


The cocoa value chains and linkage development of
the three countries are summarized in table 4.1


4.2 cOffee


Long-term price trends


Coffee is a major source of foreign exchange and
jobs in many African countries. From the mid-


1980s, world prices declined, bottomed in 1992,
spiked in the mid-1990s, fell again until the early
2000s, and then picked up strongly (figure 4.18).
In real terms, however, prices in the mid-2000s
were still only half those of the 1960s (Kaplinsky
and Fitter, 2004).


nigeria ghana cameroon


Forward integration into final and
intermediate GVC stages


• Domestic/foreign capital


• Intermediate/final products


• Regional markets


• CSFs: quality, lead times, trust


• Weak buyer cooperation


• Constraints: raw materials, capital,
infrastructure, EU trade regime and
horizontal policies for processors


Growing forward integration into
intermediate stages of the GVC


• Domestic/foreign capital


• Intermediate products


• EU buyers


• CSFs: quality, price, trust


• Cooperation with buyers


• Strong government policies on raw
materials


• Constraints: capital, infrastructure,
cost environment and policies for
growers


Static—no upgrading and no linkage
development


• Domestic/foreign capital


• One chocolate manufacturer vs.
Asian competition


• Intermediate products


• EU buyers


• CSFs: trust, lead times, quality


• Constraints: raw materials, skills,
markets, cost environment and
weak policies


tAble 4.1: summAry cOmpArisOn Of cOcOA vAlue chAins And linkAge
develOpment: nigeriA, ghAnA And cAmerOOn




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


153


Several factors underlay the declining price trend.
A major factor was the end of International Coffee
Agreements, which, until the 1980s, enabled
producing countries to support and stabilize world
prices through quota arrangements (Ponte, 2002b;
Talbot, 1997b).The entry of Vietnam as a large
producer of low-quality Robusta coffee contributed
to an oversupply in the 1990s.


As part of structural adjustment programmes, most
coffee marketing boards were dismantled, which
led to higher shares of domestic income accruing to
growers, but also to higher exposure to price volatility.
This coincided with the substantial withdrawal of the
state from extension and quality control services. As


a result, while export volumes generally increased,
quality generally suffered. In Africa, institutional
reforms varied widely. Whereas Uganda’s liberalized
market, for example, made it a large supplier of quite
low-quality coffee in the 1980s and 1990s, Kenya’s
restrictive export regulations helped it to maintain its
reputation as a supplier of fine, albeit inconsistent,
coffee (Ponte, 2002a).


Coffee prices have risen strongly since the early
2000s (see figure 4.18), following agricultural
commodities. They have been affected by poor
harvests of high-grade Arabica producers (box
4.4), such as Brazil and Colombia, combined with
sustained demand in emerging markets.


figure 4.18: cOffee cOmpOsite indicAtOr price Of the internAtiOnAl cOffee
OrgAnizAtiOn, 1980–2011(us cents/lb)


350


300


250


200


150


100


50


0
1980 1982 1994 199819861984 19961988 19921990 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010


Source: UNCTADStat, retrieved from http://unctadstat.unctad.org/ReportFolders/reportFolders.aspx(accessed 20 October 2012).


bOx 4.4: cOffee quAlities


The International Coffee Organization classifies coffee as follows, by price: Mild Arabica (Colombia,
Kenya, Tanzania), Brazilian Naturals, or Hard Arabica (Brazil, Ethiopia), and Robustas (Vietnam,
Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda).


Some African countries are important global suppliers of specific coffees. Côte d’Ivoire and
Uganda are high-volume suppliers of Robusta, and Ethiopia and Kenya are high-quality suppliers of
Arabica.


Sources: Petit, 2007; Ponte, 2002a.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


154


figure 4.19: cOffee glObAl vAlue chAin


Source: ECA and AUC.


The global value chain


After harvesting, coffee beans need to be processed
within 24 hours. Post-harvest processing can be
done on a small scale by farmers themselves
and can take the form of dry method (cherries
are dried and separated from the beans
by threshing) or wet method (fresh pulp is


mechanically separated from the beans, and
beans are fermented, rinsed and dried). Both dry
and wet methods produce parchment coffee,
which requires milling to remove the coffee
coat, producing less bulky green beans. Further
processing consists only of roasting/grinding and,
for instant coffee, brewing and spray or freeze-drying
processing (figure 4.19).


Seeds, inputs,
extension


Green coffee


Milling


Roasting


Coffee cherries


Dry process Wet process


Roasted ground Instant


Parchment
coffee




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


155


Market concentration


The demise of international and national
institutional frameworks has made private firms lead
players in the coffee GVC. Forward linkages are
controlled by a few international traders, roasters
and retailers, which during the 1990s acquired high
market concentration.


Roasters are the key drivers of the GVC (Ponte,
2002b). They set the market parameters for
growers, processors and domestic traders in
producing countries, and for international traders.
Retailing is controlled by supermarkets, but roasters
command the larger profit margins. Rather than
pursuing vertical integration, roasters focus on their
core business: product development, R&D and
marketing. In order to shed non-core activities and
overheads, they have moved to supplier-managed
inventory, which requires international traders to
manage stocks of varying volumes, quality and
origin to be supplied just in time, which has induced
international traders to integrate backward into
coffee-producing countries. Liberalized coffee
marketing in these countries has encouraged
the process, and many capital-starved domestic
traders have been partly or entirely acquired by
international traders.


The power of roasters has been reinforced by
innovations in coffee-processing technology (Ponte,
2002b). New washing techniques enable them
to blend different varieties of coffee to create a
certain flavour, increasing roasters’ flexibility in their
sourcing strategies, reducing their dependence on
specific sources and qualities, minimizing the risk
of shortages and price variations, and enhancing
their ability to combine supplies of varying qualities
and prices (Kaplinsky and Fitter, 2004). This has
weakened producers’ bargaining over prices and
volumes.


Coffee bar chains, such as Starbucks, have become
major value chain players, revolutionizing coffee
retailing (Ponte, 2002b). These retail points sell
a “coffee experience” rather than just coffee,
marketing coffee as a “positioning good” so that
consumers pay not only for good coffee, but for
the ambience and social cachet granted by being
seen to drink coffee at these places. At these


outlets, coffee represents less than 4 per cent of
the final retail price.


Coffee demand is income elastic in that growing
disposable income is associated with higher
coffee consumption, but when income levels are
high, it stabilizes (Ponte, 2002b). To counteract
potential slumps in demand and respond to
growing health, environmental and social concerns
among consumers, roasters and retailers have
cultivated fast-growing niche markets and created,
for example, speciality, Fair Trade, organic and
environmentally friendly coffees. A major retailer in
the UK offered up to 96 varieties of coffee in the
early 2000s (Kaplinsky and Fitter, 2004). Indeed,
coffee has much potential for differentiation, and
this is reflected in the price variance: in the UK
market at that time, prices for 100 grams of roasted
coffee varied from $0.86 for basic products to
$2.40 for high-end espresso quality, to $3.30 for
single-origin coffee (Kaplinsky and Fitter, 2004).
Roasters and retailers are also cultivating emerging
markets such as China to tap into rising income
groups.


Market concentration in forward linkages has led
not only to higher entry barriers for new entrants
but also to unequal distribution of income between
producing and consuming countries (Kaplinsky,
2004). Until the mid-2000s, while coffee growers
in producing countries saw their farm gate prices
collapse, retailers in consuming countries faced
fairly stable revenues. Roasters and retailers may
well control, respectively, up to 30 per cent and 20
per cent of total value added in the coffee GVC
(Kaplinsky and Fitter, 2004).


In producing countries, declining world coffee
prices in the 1990s and 2000s hurt coffee
growers’ income, and through that, exacerbated
rural poverty, prompting calls for global interventions
by, for example, re-establishing international
quantitative restrictions among producing countries.
This approach is complicated by its reliance on
coordination among major world producers and
is embedded in fraught political and economic
negotiations. Another approach is generally
considered more feasible because it is formulated
nationally—local upgrading to increase income
levels, if not shares in the GVC.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


156


Coffee-producing countries can follow essentially
two types of upgrading strategy: process and
product, and functional. The first aims to produce
higher-quality coffee or different types of coffee
(Fair Trade, organic) in order to lift growers’ prices.
In other words, producing countries maximize the
revenues associated with their current position in
the GVC. The second aims to move beyond green
bean exports, by acquiring processing, marketing
and distribution capabilities that involve not only
growers, but also food manufacturers and service
providers.


Process and product upgrading


For roasters, quality consistency represents a
key market parameter, because inconsistency
forces them to adjust processing equipment and
procedures (Fold and Ponte, 2008). Hence, they
value consistency as much as quality. The final


quality of coffee depends as much on bean types
as on farming practices and primary processing
(drying, washing and storage). Process upgrading
therefore requires investment in extension services
to farmers, capacity building for processing, transport
and storage, and domestic quality control systems.
Process and product upgrading underlies some
companies’ success in catering to the top end
market, as they focus on growing practices, bean
selection, handling and transport, roasting and
packing (Kaplinsky and Fitter, 2004). There is ample
room for African countries to develop upgrading
strategies for farming and harvesting links because
these links present low technological barriers to entry.


Product differentiation enables producing countries
to target fast-growing niche markets, but presents
some challenges as its economic benefits are not
always clear-cut, and it often raises entry barriers
for smallholders (box 4.5).


bOx 4.5: prOduct differentiAtiOn in the cOffee gvc


Speciality coffee, in particular single-origin coffee, offers important opportunities to raise growers’
revenues. For example, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee has often sold at five times the world
coffee price at some point, and has not been vulnerable to world price fluctuations (Kaplinsky
and Fitter, 2004). Moving into speciality coffees requires producing countries to invest at both
production and at marketing stages. The latter includes building consumer awareness on coffee
quality, promoting a product image in consuming countries, and seizing the opportunity of
geographical indication marks, as with wine producers (Ponte, 2002b).


For Fair Trade, organic and environmentally friendly coffee, the benefits are less straightforward.
First, not all these niche markets offer market premiums. While Fair Trade enables growers to
secure higher economic returns, the premiums on organic and environmental certification are more
flexible, often set by market (and non-market) factors (Ponte, 2002c; Muradian and Pelupessy,
2005). Even Fair Trade coffee is hampered by inconsistent quality and excessively high prices.


Second, certification costs can throw up significant entry barriers for African producers in particular,
given the proliferation of certification schemes that often differ by country and retailer, offsetting
price premiums.


Third, some certifications such as Rainforest Alliance are so widespread in mainstream retailing
that they are becoming “order qualifying” rather than “order winning” market requirements—a
necessary, but not sufficient, condition—leading to higher production costs for coffee growers
without commensurate economic benefits.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


157


Functional upgrading


The coffee value chain offers two different
opportunities in functional upgrading—roasted
coffee and instant coffee.


Roasted coffee usually needs to be processed
near a consumption point to preserve its flavour,
which explains why international trade has
traditionally taken place in green bean form.
Vacuum packing enables it to preserve the flavour
for a slightly longer period, but also increases
transport costs (Roemer, 1979).That would also
require producing companies to supply within a very
short delivery time, and have access to inputs and


knowledge to blend different coffee types suitable
for packed roasted coffee.


Global roasters have a key competitive advantage in
processed coffee products for several reasons: they
can blend beans sourced from suppliers around the
globe to meet their quality and price specifications,
have manufacturing capabilities near the consumption
point, control multiple brands and have excellent
access to distribution networks.


The instant coffee value chain, however, presents
issues for upgrading (box 4.6), suggesting that the
opportunities for functional upgrading in speciality
roasted coffee could be greater.


bOx 4.6: functiOnAl upgrAding in the instAnt cOffee gvc


Instant coffee was introduced during World War II in the US, and usually accounts for around 20
per cent of the world market by value.


This value chain is controlled by global roasters with strong market presence in both traditional and
emerging markets. Similarly to the roasted ground-coffee market, global roasters differentiate their
products by developing new blends and brands. Further, they have also expanded their product
range by introducing coffee granules and freeze-dried coffee. The strategy’s success is confirmed
by large price premiums for high-quality and speciality instant coffee (Kaplinsky and Fitter, 2004).


After the war, some Latin American countries tried to move into processing and exporting instant
coffee (Talbot, 1997a). These efforts were fairly successful and were usually supported by
governments through financial incentives, access to lower-quality coffee beans and marketing.


Moving into instant coffee production has not, though, always translated into a revenue leap from
exporting green beans (Talbot, 2002). This is because Latin American instant coffee manufacturers
sold mainly in bulk to global TNCs that marketed it under their own brands. In other words, while
successful in developing a manufacturing base, these countries did not secure a larger share of
the overall revenues in the instant coffee GVC. Only when exporting under their own brands to
emerging markets have they achieved higher profit margins.


In Africa, domestic and regional markets are very
small, apart from countries where coffee consumption
is part of the culture, like Ethiopia and Eritrea, or is
associated with rising incomes, like South Africa.
International markets therefore remain crucial, and
targeting them requires access to high-quality beans
(single-origin, for example) and competing with the


global roasters that control brands for niche markets.
Two proposals to enter the high-value coffee market
at the roasted stage include deepening the level of
processing of Fair Trade coffee, and moving into non-
household distribution through speciality coffee bars
(Muradian and Pelupessy, 2005).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


158


Ethiopia’s coffee industry


Coffee, Ethiopia’s largest export, accounts for
10 per cent of GDP. Coffee production involves
1.3 million small farmers, but with dependants
and employees in ancillary industries supports an
estimated 15 million people (Petit, 2007).


In the 1990s, the institutional framework
was partly liberalized. Private and growers’
cooperatives now participate in primary
processing and domestic marketing. However,
vertical integration is limited and export
marketing is controlled by the Ethiopian
Commodity Exchange (ECX), a government body
responsible for auctioning coffee. The ECX aims
to retain high standards for Ethiopia’s coffee, and
ensures that consignments from different regions
are kept separate to preserve their distinct
flavours.


Since 2001, cooperative firms and some private
companies have been allowed to export directly,
bypassing the domestic marketing system, which
nevertheless controls 80 per cent of coffee
production. Coffee consignments that do not
meet export standards are directed to the large
domestic market, which absorbs 40 per cent
of domestic coffee output. Ethiopia is the only
coffee-producing country other than Brazil with a
large domestic market.


Firms’ perceptions


Coffee processing and exporting are very
competitive, with around 200–250 firms
involved. The case study covers 4 processing
and exporting firms established after the 1990s’
reforms. All firms are Ethiopian owned, although
one of them operates in partnership with a TNC.
Firm size is in the range of $4 million–8 million
turnover. Firms purchase coffee beans from
the ECX, apart from a cooperative of coffee
growers with $46 million turnover. After receiving
their beans from the ECX, exporting firms


wash, cap, sort and grade, and make logistical
arrangements. Some are involved in roasting,
a more labour-intensive stage. Employment
consists mainly of unskilled casual workers.


Coffee-exporting firms sell 85–95 per cent of
their output to international traders. For some
firms, traditional markets are still prominent: the
EU (60–95 per cent of total sales), where demand
is growing, and to a lesser extent the US (20 per
cent) and Japan (5–10 per cent), a declining
market. Other firms have more differentiated
markets: the Middle East, the Republic of Korea,
Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The
export markets are segmented by speciality and
undifferentiated coffee.


Except for the Middle East, these markets are
very demanding in terms of trust, quality, price
competitiveness and lead times (figure 4.20).
International competition is stiff, as Ethiopian
exporters are running against high-quality coffee
from Brazil and Colombia. Surveyed firms report that
buyers assist them to some extent with capability to
monitor quality and grade coffee beans.


Coffee-exporting firms are willing to invest in
developing in-house roasting capabilities, but
buyers are not generally interested in semi-
processed products, as it would encroach on
the core business of the final industrial user,
the global grinders. Coffee-exporting firms also
contemplate expanding their market size and
branching into new products.


At the domestic level, the challenges to local
processing capabilities are twofold (figure
4.21). Access to inputs is problematic: some are
unavailable, and firms would, for example, need
to invest in in-house packaging if they were to
export packed, roasted coffee. Also, the quality
of raw materials is low. Nor is the government
framework supportive: high taxes, lack of skilled
labour and, to a lesser extent, corruption make it
hard for firms to invest in processing facilities.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


159


figure 4.20: buyers’ criticAl success fActOrs in ethiOpiA’s cOffee industry


Source: Interviews with four processing and exporting firms, 2012.


8.8 9.0 9.0 9.6 7.6 9.8


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figure 4.21: rAting Of fActOrs Affecting linkAge develOpment in ethiOpiA’s
cOffee industry


Source: Interviews with processing and exporting firms, 2012.


6.4 6.4 6.1 2.8 3.2 4.0 2.2 6.2 3.0 6.1 1.6 4.9 1.6


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Economic Report on Africa 2013


160


A growers’ cooperative provides an exception.
It exports speciality coffee to the US and other
high-income countries in the Pacific region,
and has to meet very high quality standards. It
employs 113 permanent and more than 1,000
temporary workers. This firm has allocated staff
to assist and train farmers and to cooperate
with external facilitators. In its experience, these
links have helped to build growers’ capabilities
in quality and costs. However, the firm’s growth
potential is constrained by lack of capital and
weak government support.


Ethiopia’s economic policy largely focuses on
diversification. At the sectoral level, the Coffee
Development and Marketing Plan targets farms’
productivity, coffee quality, washed method post-
harvest processing, and marketing. The government
provides general incentives for local processing,
such as tax-free capital imports, but the surveyed
coffee processing and exporting firms found that
these schemes were bogged down by burdensome
procedures. They also highlighted policy
inconsistency and scarce government willingness to
cooperate with the private sector.


Exporting firms rate quality of supplies a key
challenge, and are concerned at the capacity of
ECX to improve the quality of beans supplied
by farmers. The current system provides more
incentives for fast turnover than high-quality
output, although one firm argues that ECX is
becoming more responsive to this problem (and
is technologically advanced). But as the quality of
beans is determined by the timing and handling
of beans at harvesting and post-harvesting


stages, and as the exporters do not work directly
with farmers, they cannot assist local farmers to
upgrade their capabilities. Other issues include
poor infrastructure, power cuts (one factory
reported 35–40 per cent power outages) and
poor telecoms.


Exporting firms’ rating of local suppliers’ capability
is very low for quality, price and flexibility to match
volumes or quality required (figure 4.22).


figure 4.22: rAting Of lOcAl suppliers ’ perfOrmAnce in ethiOpiA’s cOffee
industry


Source: Interviews with processing and exporting firms, 2012.


2.0 3.0 2.8 5.0 5.5 5.5


Pr
ic


e
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m
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tit
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/ i
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Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


161


4.3 teA


The global value chain


World tea prices were on a declining trend until
the mid-2000s because of production expansion
and productivity increases (Fold and Larsen, 2011;
Ganewatta et al., 2005), but thereafter followed
the general price surge of agricultural commodities
(figure 4.23).


Tea requires processing within a fairly short time


of harvesting. Processing into green tea (a small
part of the market only) is quite easy, as tea leaves
are heated, then rolled or twisted, and finally dried.
Black tea requires more complex processing: tea
leaves are withered (or partly dried), and rolled up
or cut, fermented, dried and eventually sorted by
size (figure 4.24). This processing can be done
through traditional processes for higher-quality
loose teas, or through cut, tear and curl for bulk
teas for tea bags. The result is packet tea or tea
bags.


figure 4.23: wOrld teA price, mOmbAsA AuctiOn price, jAnuAry 1980–
september 2012 (us cents/kg)


Source: IMF Primary Commodity Price monthly data, retrieved from www.imf.org/external/np/res/commod/index.aspx(accessed 18 October 2012).


Note: From July 1998, Kenya auctions, Best Pekoe Fannings. Before that: London auctions, CIF UK warehouses.


500


450


400


350


300


250


200


150


100


50


0


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19
81


19
82


19
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01


20
02


20
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20
08


20
09


20
10


20
12




Economic Report on Africa 2013


162


Additional value can be added by packaging into
smaller, branded retail packages, or packing into tea
bags, instant tea and ready-to-drink beverages. The
highest growth potential is in niche markets such
as organic, flavoured or green teas. Teas marketed
as products with high health benefits have been
particularly successful.


TNCs such as Unilever and Tetley (now owned
by Tata Tea; box 4.7) dominate marketing and
distribution networks in consumer markets. Three
companies control more than 80 per cent of the
world market (World Bank, 2008). Unlike coffee and
cocoa, tea TNCs are often vertically integrated and
extend upstream into tea farming, partly because tea
is frequently produced on large plantations (Kenya’s
small production an exception). The relative capital
and scale intensity required by post-harvest


processing also favours integrated companies.
Similar to coffee and cocoa, however, the same
tea TNCs have been under increasing pressure to
comply with social sustainability standards (Fold
and Larsen, 2011). The 1997 Ethical Tea Initiative
brought together some of the largest TNCs in an
effort to source from only approved tea producers
in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Asian
countries.


In 2010, the world’s largest exporter was Kenya,
which ranked third in global tea production (10
per cent). Other African producers, together
accounting for 15 per cent of world output, were
in descending order Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Malawi
and Tanzania. China and India accounted for 34 per
cent and 25 per cent of global production, mainly for
their domestic markets (table 4.2).


figure 4.24: teA glObAl vAlue chAin


Source: ECA and AUC.


Seeds
inputs


extension


Plucked tea
leaf


Post harvest processing (wither,
crush, ferment, dry)


Made tea


Packet
tea


Tea
bags


Instant
tea




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


163


bOx 4.7: An exAmple Of grAduAl upgrAding in dOmestic, regiOnAl And
glObAl mArkets


After independence, India extended its control over tea production and marketing by relocating tea
auction centres to the country and partly shifting plantation ownership to Indian companies (Talbot,
2002). Tata Tea started as a joint venture with a British plantation, but was later under total control of the
Tata Group. After investing in tea production, the company soon moved into packaging and instant tea
manufacturing. Tata consolidated its presence in the domestic market and exported to ex-communist
countries and regional markets, as well as expanding production into Sri Lanka.


In the 1990s, Tata Tea partnered with UK-based Tetley to manufacture tea bags for export and
domestic consumption, which allowed it to absorb sophisticated production and marketing techniques.
With the acquisition in 2002 of Tetley, Tata acquired a global brand name—number one in sales in the
UK and Canada, and number two in the US—making it one of the lead firms in the tea GVC.


2006 2007 2008 2009 2010


Quantity
(million


kg)


Growth
(%)


Quantity
(million


kg)


Growth
(%)


Quantity
(million


kg)


Growth
(%)


Quantity
(million


kg)


Growth
(%)


Quantity
(million


kg)


Growth
(%)


Production
China 1,028 10 1,166 13 1,200 3 1,359 13 1,475 9
India 956 1 945 -1 981 4 979 -0.2 966 -1
Kenya 312 -5 370 19 346 -6 314 -9 399 27
SriLanka 311 -2 305 -2 319 5 290 -9 331 14
Indonesia 140 -10 150 7 137 -9 136 -1 129 -5
Others 833 -4 860 3 882 3 854 -3 862 1
Total 3,580 4 3,796 6 3,865 2 3,932 2 4,162 6
Consumption
World 3,491 4 3,611 3 3,717 3 3,824 3 3,980 4
Surplus
World 89 -6 185 108 148 20 108 27 182 69
Exports


Kenya 314 -10 344 10 383 11 342 -11 441 29
SriLanka 315 6 294 -7 297 1 280 -6 298 6
China 287 0.3 289 1 297 3 303 2 302 0
India 215 14 175 -19 200 14 195 -3 183 -6
Argentina 75 7 79 5 81 3 72 -11 106 47
Indonesia 95 -7 84 -12 96 14 92 -4 97 5
Others 277 -29 313 13 299 -4 296 -1 301 2
Total 1,578 2 1,578 0 1,653 5 1,580 -4 1,728 9


tAble 4.2: glObAl teA prOductiOn, cOnsumptiOn And expOrts by cOuntry, 2006–
2010


Source: Tea Board of Kenya: Annual Report 2010-2011; International Tea Committee, Annual Bulletin of Statistics, 2011 (http://www.inttea.com/publications.asp).


Note: Growth is relative to the previous year.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


164


Kenya’s tea industry


Tea has been produced on a commercial scale in
Kenya for nearly 90 years. After independence,
the tea strategy focused on smallholder production
rather than forward linkages (Talbot, 2002).Today
the sector is the largest source of foreign exchange.
In 2011, almost 60 per cent of total production of
377,900 metric tons was controlled by smallholder
growers (Republic of Kenya, 2012). They process
and market tea through their own management
body, Kenya Tea Development Agency. The sector
has also attracted TNCs such as Unilever Tea (UK–
Netherlands), James Finlay (UK), Williamson’s Tea
(UK) and Eastern Produce, Kenya (UK).


Kenya has a fairly well-developed agro-processing
industry, with strong backward linkages to the
agricultural sector (UNDP, 2005). These industries
range from processing staple foods and fruits to
producing beverages, vegetables, tea and coffee,
and tobacco for the domestic and foreign markets.
Most tea is exported in bulk form.


The four tea companies selected for Kenya’s case
study were established in the 1960s to 1980s.
Formerly state-owned Kenya Tea Development
Authority (KTDA) became a private company—
and the largest tea firm—in 2000, and has a
cooperative structure. Other tea companies
interviewed are locally or East African owned,
or are subsidiaries of TNCs. These subsidiaries
are the main source of competition for the tea
companies. All the surveyed firms are vertically
integrated and grow, grade, process, blend and
export tea. They import their machinery, and use
local brokers and warehouses for marketing and
storage. The sector is labour intensive, and each
firm employs 4,200–5,700 workers. Processing is
a more capital-intensive stage, and uses imported
automated blending and packing equipment.


The export market is highly diversified.
Supermarkets such as Tesco, Marks & Spencer
and Sainsbury from the UK, and Albert Heijn from
the Netherlands, are key buyers. Tea demand
from the UK and the rest of Europe has been
increasing, and Kenya’s tea exporters have well
established procedures to comply with their
standards, and perceive pricing to be fair. Europe
is by no means the only market, though: exports
have diversified to China, India, the Middle East
and North America. The domestic market takes
10–30 per cent of sales, and the regional market
up to 20 per cent. Because exports are in bulk,
the only variations in market requirements for
exporters are quality and standards for the EU.
The domestic market is easier to supply because
quality is standardized and there are no trade
barriers.


Firms’ perceptions


The CSFs set by buyers are led by quality and
price competitiveness (figure 4.25). Buyer–
supplier cooperation is limited to information
exchange, although some buyers send technical
teams to assist exporters. KTDA operates at arm’s
length from its buyers.


Tea companies identify their upgrading
opportunities in value-added products such as
tea extracts, flavoured teas, instant tea and
ready-to-drink beverages. Some firms also
want to diversify into timber, flowers, nuts and
vegetables. One firm is moving to tea products
that follow sustainable farming practices. Import
tariffs on inputs, access to inputs (in particular
land), access to finance, and taxes raise
production costs; poor infrastructure, fluctuating
electricity prices and availability, and poor
telecoms hamper tight supplier–buyer linkages
(figure 4.26).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


165


In addition, the supply chain has bottlenecks. Tea
companies set demanding CSFs for their suppliers
(figure 4.27), but local suppliers perform less
well than foreign suppliers, particularly on lead
times and learning/innovation, largely owing to


poor infrastructure and weak skills (per the tea
companies). Some firms provide farm workers with
inputs and technical services (allocating staff) and,
KTDA particularly, cooperate with top growers in
Kenya.


Pr
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st
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ni
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/ i
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ov
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io
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figure 4.25: buyers’ criticAl success fActOrs in kenyA’s teA industry


Source: Interviews with four processing firms, 2012.


9.0 9.3 8.3 7.8 8.5 8.5


Q
ua


lit
y


of
in


pu
ts


A
va


ila
bi


lit
y


of
in


pu
ts


Im
po


rt
ta


rif
fs


o
n


im
po


rte
d


go
od


s
Po


or
in


fra
st


ru
ct


ur
e


A
cc


es
s


to
e


xt
er


na
l m


ar
ke


ts
S


ki
lls


a
va


ila
bi


lit
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La
bo


ur
c


os
ts


G
en


er
al


p
ol


ic
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en
vi


ro
nm


en
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es
s


to
fi


na
nc


e
C


or
ru


pt
io


n


S
ec


ur
ity


R
oa


d
tra


ns
po


rt
ne


tw
or


ks


C
os


t e
nv


iro
nm


en
t


Source: Interviews with processing firms, 2012.


figure 4.26 rAting Of fActOrs Affecting linkAge develOpment in kenyA’s teA
industry


7.3 7.5 4.0 8.3 7.3 6.0 3.5 2.0 3.8 3.3 6.5 5.0 3.8


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Economic Report on Africa 2013


166


Limited linkage development


Kenya’s auction centres market domestic tea and
tea from other countries in the East African region,
adding some value and facilitating intraregional
trade. However, Kenya does not have an ambitious
linkage development policy for tea (but does for
fresh vegetables—see Kenya’s fresh vegetable


industry below). It remains confined to exporting
bulk tea and adds little value through, for example,
packaging, blending, manufacturing ready-to-drink
beverages or niche marketing, unlike Sri Lanka (box
4.8). The only applicable policy framework refers
to improving the business environment in Vision
2030 which, to be well carried out, requires
resources and expertise.


bOx 4.8: develOping fOrwArd linkAges in the teA gvc, sri lAnkA


Sri Lanka’s upgrading efforts date back to the 1980s. It had to do something different because it
had a small domestic market; productivity growth and expanded output had lifted global supplies of
bulk tea considerably, pushing prices down; and global marketing and distribution were controlled
by foreign companies.


The Export Development Board granted duty rebates and grants for exporters moving into higher
value added tea products. In the early 1990s, Sri Lanka privatized its state plantations, most of
which stayed controlled by domestic companies, some receiving foreign direct investment from
Tata India (Talbot, 2002). The state encouraged forward integration, and set up a domestic auction
centre.


figure 4.27: rAting Of lOcAl And fOreign suppliers relAtive tO leAd firms’
expectAtiOns kenyA’s teA industry


Pr
ic


e
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m
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tit
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en
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Le
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ti
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p
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du
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sy
st


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Le
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ni
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/ i
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ov
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io
n


Source: Interviews with processing firms, 2012.


Local suppliers


Foreign
suppliers


CSFs 9.5 9.8 9.5 9.3 9.5 9.5


7.3 6.8 7.0 5.5 6.3 6.8


8.3 8.3 8.5 7.3 8.5 8.3


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


167




Established in 1991, the Tea Board of Sri Lanka supported exporters moving up the value chain
by giving tax-free incentives based on the previous year’s incremental export value of teabags and
tea packets, and by paying part of the interest on loans for capital investment in processing plants
(Ganewattaet al., 2005). The Tea Promotion Bureau promoted tea in export markets and provided
grants to firms exporting value-added products under national brands.


By value in 2011, Sri Lanka exported almost half its tea in value-added form and almost 3 per cent
as speciality tea (green value-added tea). In short, the country has developed a high-quality export
sector. Kenya, in contrast, exported almost its entire tea production in bulk form (box table).


bOx tAble: cOmpOsitiOn Of teA expOrts frOm sri lAnkA And kenyA, 2011
(%)


Black tea in bulk Black tea in value-
added form


Green tea in value-
added form


Green tea in
value-added form


Sri Lanka 50.41 46.46 2.86 2.86


Kenya 98.98 0.12 0.05 0.05


Sources: Ganewattaet al., 2005;Talbot, 2002; ITC Trademap, retrieved from www.trademap.org/SelectionMenu.aspx (accessed 30 August 2012).


4.4 AgrO-prOducts


The global value chain


Agro-processing is one of the most developed
manufacturing sectors in Africa, and most countries
are involved to varying degrees.


This subsection focuses on fresh—and
processed—fruits and vegetables. Both offer
export opportunities for African producers. Some
countries have already inserted themselves into
fresh-produce GVCs, such as Kenya (the case-
study country), Egypt, South Africa, Zambia and
Zimbabwe.


Dominance of supermarkets


Africa’s fresh and processed fruit and vegetable
exports have traditionally gone to Europe.
Supermarkets continue to play a driving role in such
value chains. In the 1990s, consolidation among EU
retailers led to a few large supermarkets controlling
most countries (with a few exceptions such as Italy
and Spain). In the UK, for example, four supermarkets


have three quarters of the multiple grocery market
(Barrientos and Asenso-Okyere, 2008).


EU supermarkets compete on product
differentiation, advertising, investment in retail
outlets and supply chain logistics (Dolan and
Humphrey, 2000). Fresh fruits and vegetables are
products of key strategic importance, first because
supermarkets can easily sell under their own label,
and second because fresh produce, with meat and
wine, are determining factors in consumer choice
of where to shop (Fold and Larsen, 2011). The
key requirements for supermarkets are quality,
consistency, variety and reliability of supplies (Dolan
and Humphrey, 2000).


Much attention has focused on the role of
regulatory barriers in accessing industrialized
countries’ GVCs for food products. Their retailers,
importers and manufacturers must comply
with strict food safety regulations, sanitary and
phytosanitary measures, and technical regulations
set nationally, regionally and globally. The UK 1990
Food and Safety Act, for example, imposes strict
traceability requirements on retailers.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


168


Supermarkets have developed firm-specific
private standards to differentiate their products
(Ouma, 2010). They have codes of conduct for
suppliers that allow them to develop “credence
goods” that meet consumers’ concern for social
and environmental sustainability. Some standards
have become public, such as GlobalGap (formerly
EuroGap), a private standard that is now a minimum
requirement for the EU market.


To monitor suppliers’ compliance, supermarkets,
importers and exporters have set up systems
of monitoring and auditing of farming practices
(pesticide and fertilizer use, spraying, personal
hygiene, etc.) and post-harvest practices (cold
chain, handling, transport and the like).


For African smallholders it has become harder to
stay in supermarket-driven value chains (Ouma,
2010), although they still find market access to
lower-quality market segments driven by traditional
wholesalers and catering companies. These
markets are significant, though declining, in the
North, but are large in Eastern Europe, Russia, Latin
America and Asia, which are fast-growing importers
of fruits and vegetables (Fold and Larsen, 2011).
China’s impact is twofold: it is becoming a large
importer of fruits, but is also a major exporter of
agro-processed products.


Traditionally, emerging economies have been
characterized by lower requirements for quality
and certification than Northern markets (Fold
and Larsen, 2011). However, supermarkets from
Europe and North America have expanded their
market share in these economies’ retail sectors,
including Carrefour (France) and Walmart (US)
in China and Metro (Germany) in Russia. Often
they carry with them their supply chains: Walmart
sources avocado, pears and grapes from Mexico
and citrus fruits from South Africa for China.
This trend could see higher market requirements
applied to emerging economies too, including
Africa.


In the value chain for fresh and processed fruits,
TNCs play a major role, working alongside and in
competition with supermarkets (Fold and Larsen,
2011). Branded manufacturers, such as Del Monte
and Chiquita, are vertically integrated operations
and focus on lowering costs and increasing margins


by targeting new countries as a source of produce
and as markets, and by increasing economies of
scale. Supermarkets, in contrast, aim to retail a
growing share of fresh and processed fruit under
their own label. By doing so, they diversify their
supply sources and increase profit margins.


Upgrading opportunities


All these trends offer African agro-processing
industries upgrading opportunities. Local industries
can add value by deepening processing activities
(washing or chopping), combining products
(mixed washed, peeled, and chopped vegetables,
ready for cooking) and packaging (for speciality
products; Dolan and Humphrey, 2000). These
new products are important for supermarkets and
branded manufacturers because they allow them
to reformat traditional products in high-income
markets (Fold and Larsen, 2011). Many retailers
in Europe have favoured relocating processing to
Africa because it reduces labour costs, reduces
wastage and increases the value-to-volume ratio.


For fruit-processing firms in Africa, the challenge
is as much about increasing competitiveness
(intra-firm and in the production chain) and
introducing new products as moving up the value
chain (Kaplan and Kaplinsky, 1999). Movement to
control global brands and access retail sectors is
particularly difficult.


Another set of opportunities is linked to market
differentiation. Emerging markets in Asia and
Central and Eastern Europe, as well as domestic
and regional markets, offer the opportunity for
African agro-processing industries to supply
products that meet different price and quality
specifications, and to move into higher value
added products. In particular, regional value
chains feeding into regional African markets can
play an important interim guidance role for firms
as companies seek to meet the requirements of
US and European consumer markets. Local firms
can test their products in less demanding regional
markets, establish brand names and make the
changes to shift to another level.


Opportunities for regional value chains are
increasing for three main reasons. The rapid
economic growth of many African countries based




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


169


on the commodities boom has expanded the
number of middle- and high-income consumers,
shifting consumption patterns and personal tastes
to processed food and beverages.


In addition, the expansion of South African
retail and supermarket chains into the rest of
the continent is creating shelf space for these
consumers to satisfy their new tastes. The
supermarkets in South Africa already import
processed and packaged fresh and semi-
processed food from elsewhere in Southern
Africa. As they move into East and West Africa
they will be seeking new local sources of supply.


Finally, global retail chains are increasingly casting
their eyes on African markets as a potential place
to sell their wares: witness the entry of Walmart
to South Africa, part of its strategy to launch into
other African markets. African governments and
regional trade groupings have ample opportunity
to encourage local sourcing when these global
players enter Africa.


Kenya’s fresh vegetable industry


Until the 1960s, Kenya’s fruit and vegetable
industry had slow growth and was, in the main,
domestically oriented. In 1967 the government
established the Horticultural Crops Development
Authority to expand the horticultural subsector
(defined as production of fruits, vegetables and
flowers), which in the following decades developed
fairly free from government oversight. It has quite
easy entry conditions for agribusiness enterprises,
easy access to land, effective technological transfer
and well-developed marketing linkages to European
distributors and retailers. Today, horticulture is
a major contributor to foreign exchange and
employment.


Kenya’s horticultural subsector employs around 4.5
million people countrywide directly in production,
processing and marketing, and another 3.5 million
people benefit indirectly through trade and other
activities (Republic of Kenya, 2010). Cabbages,
spinach, tomatoes, onions, chillies, pepper, carrots,
French beans and Asian vegetables (karella, duhdi,
brinjals) are some of the vegetables produced
(ReSAKSS-ECA, 2010).


Smallholder farmers account for 70 per cent of
horticultural output, but fewer than 20 per cent of
them are involved in vegetable exports—75 per
cent of that market is controlled by a few, large
exporters (Basboga et al., 2010; Wiersinga and de
Jager, 2007). This concentration of farming and
exporting links reflects the organization required to
meet quality standards, capital investment for post-
harvest processing, and logistical capacity to supply
goods just in time (Dolan and Humphrey, 2000).


The leading destinations for Kenya’s horticultural
exports were recently the UK (54 per cent), France
(15 per cent) and Holland (11 per cent); (HCDA,
2009). Some companies have integrated with
freight forwarding companies and with importing
agencies in the UK, including Home grown (which
accounts for 15 per cent of Kenyan horticulture
exports) and Finlays Horticulture, both based in that
country. Large exporters source fresh vegetables
from their own farms, and their product lines are
broader than small exporters. Their logistics are
supported by a “pack house” next to the airport
and their economies of scale help them to secure
airfreight space. Home grown, for example, formed
a joint venture with MK Airlines, which has a daily
evening flight to the UK, ensuring reliable and
timely deliveries and shipping-cost reductions
(Dolan et al., 1999).


Firms’ perceptions


The four companies exporting fresh vegetables in
Kenya’s case study were established between the
1970s and the 1980s. They are locally owned,
large operations, in some cases subsidiaries of
bigger groups. They have experienced strong
growth in the past few years: in 2005–2011, one
firm’s turnover rose from $60 million to $210
million, another’s from just more than $10 million


Opportunities for regional value
chains are increasing for three main
reasons. The rapid economic growth of
many African countries based on the
commodities boom has expanded the
number of middle- and high-income
consumers, shifting consumption
patterns and personal tastes to
processed food and beverages.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


170


to $23 million. These firms are labour intensive,
with a high proportion of female workers. In one firm,
of 3,300 employees, two thirds are women. Workers
have received training in areas such as food safety.


Most Kenyan vegetable firms have moved to higher
value added products, such as ready-to-eat foods.
Firms are involved in processing the raw materials,
packaging, labelling, cold storage and exporting.
Most are vertically integrated with farming, but
also source from outgrowers. Some have to import
supplies, such as packaging material from the
UK because it meets EU technical regulations.
Packaging and preprinted labels/bags are one
area where local firms have expressed a desire to
outsource to local suppliers.


The main export markets are UK supermarkets
such as Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury
and Albert Heijn of the Netherlands. Kenyan
companies compete with exporters from
Egypt, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Some have
diversified a little into other European markets
and the US, and the Middle East and East Asia
are also becoming more important. Firms exported
25–40 per cent of their output to non-UK
markets.


Domestic sales are low, at less than 5 per cent
of output, although one firm sells 20 per cent
to domestic retailers and is planning to expand
this market. Diversification forces exporters
to meet markets’ different requirements: EU
markets have strict food safety regulations, but
private standards are less relevant than in the
UK; exporting to Middle Eastern markets is


competitive because of lower freight costs; and
domestic markets have lower quality requirements.


Most UK and other European buyers have
supported relocation of processing to Kenya
because of strong local capabilities to meet
exacting market requirements.


Indeed, buyers’ have demanding requirements
for Kenyan firms (figure 4.28). They expect firms
to supply just-in-time, high-quality products that
meet volume and product specifications with very
short lead times on the basis of consumption
patterns. Thus buyer–supplier cooperation aimed
at compliance with private and public standards is
intense, in the form of information exchange and
technical teams visiting exporters’ premises, although
not all firms benefit from these efforts.


Proliferating private standards are a serious challenge
for Kenyan exporters, which have to face up 15
different standards, such as GlobalGap, Tesco’s Nature
Choice, Marks &Spencer’s Field to Fork and Fair
Trade (Ouma, 2010). The introduction of GlobalGap
alone has increased monitoring costs for exporters by
30–40 per cent, causing a restructuring of the supply
chain that consolidated the supply base to exclude
smaller exporters and growers and that increased
linkages among farmers, exporters and importers.


Vegetable-exporting firms reflect buyers’ strict market
parameters in their own supply chain, including quality,
lead times and flexibility, but also trust and learning/
innovation, with price secondary (figure 4.29). Local
suppliers, however, fared quite poorly on lead time,
trust and learning/innovation.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


171


figure 4.28: criticAl success fActOrs in kenyA’s fresh vegetAble industry


Source: Interviews with processing firms, 2012.


7.5 10 10 9.5 7.5 7.8
Pr


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es
s


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ic


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/ i
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ov
at


io
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figure 4.29: rAting Of lOcAl And fOreign suppliers relAtive tO leAd-firm
expectAtiOns in kenyA’s fresh vegetAble industry


Source: Interviews with five processing firms, 2012.


Local suppliers


Foreign
suppliers


CSFs 7.3 10 9.5 9.8 10 10


6.7 8.0 8.3 5.7 7.7 6.7


8.0 9.0 9.0 8.0 9.0 9.0


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Economic Report on Africa 2013


172


To build capabilities, processing firms allocate
dedicated staff to farmers and provide them with
inputs and technical services. They also cooperate
with external domestic parties such as the Fresh
Produce Exporters Association of Kenya, Kenya
Plant Health Inspectorate Services, USAID and
Techno serve, as well as GlobalGap and the British
Retail Consortium. All surveyed firms report
that these programmes have helped to improve
suppliers’ capabilities, especially on quality.


The main constraints to local procurement are poor
transport infrastructure (which hampers movement
of perishable products and delays consignments for
flights); fluctuations, costs and availability of electricity;
and access to finance. Security issues lead to higher
production costs (security services) and farmers


cannot always work after dark. Corruption also raises
production costs. Farmers in particular are affected
by poor access to capital and skills, which makes it
hard to meet standards as well as volume and quality
requirements, which has a direct bearing on their sales.


The vegetable-exporting firms target process
upgrading—for example, ensuring that labour
practices meet high international standards or
investing in technologies that give them the
flexibility to process fresh produce following
different product specifications. The firms also
focus on product diversification, such as chillies,
runner beans, avocados, herbs and tropical fruits.
But process and product upgrading requires
access to capital and economies of scale—the
critical entry barriers (figure 4.30).


Government policies and public–private
cooperation


Several policies recognize value addition through
processing. The Policy on Agro-industry for
2008–2012 aimed to scale up the operations of
agro-processing firms by encouraging consolidation
and establishing special zones and parks providing


improved, targeted export services. The Agriculture
Sector Development Strategy 2010–2020 also
supports processing industries, and the Ministry
of Agriculture has targeted barriers to rural agro-
processing, including licences, product standards,
entrepreneurial skills, and high costs of equipment
and packaging. The National Industrial Policy
includes agro-processing among the sectors


Q
ua


lit
y


of
in


pu
ts


A
va


ila
bi


lit
y


of
in


pu
ts


Im
po


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fs


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n


im
po


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Po


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A
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lls


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R
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C
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t e
nv


iro
nm


en
t


figure 4.30: rAting Of fActOrs Affecting linkAge develOpment in kenyA’s
fresh vegetAble industry


Source: Interviews with four processing firms, 2012.


6.3 6.3 1.8 6.5 8.3 6.5 1.5 3.0 3.3 3.3 7.5 4.0 4.5


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


173


to be supported through investment incentives
and technical information, and supports farm
research and clustering around specific agricultural
resources.


Regulatory and facilitative roles in agro-industry are
played by government bodies like the Horticultural
Crops Development Authority, the Ministry of Trade
and Industry and the Export Promotion Council, and
by the private sector through the Kenya Association
of Manufacturers and Fresh Produce Exporters
Association of Kenya (which liaises with public and
private sectors and with international organizations).
It also provides export marketing information,
post-harvest handling and packaging, and ensures
adherence to established codes of practice.


Public–private collaboration has been critical for
designing and implementing strategies to support
local upgrading. Government support has been
manifold: provision of subsidies has enabled firms
to expand production, investment in infrastructure
has reduced lead times of supplies, and support
to farmers has enabled firms to reduce costs.
Interviewed firms considered government
assistance positive in having helped supply chain
efficiency and compliance with standards.


However, the processing firms suggested
that efforts should target non-EU market
requirements, that the current interventions are
too selective and fail to involve farmers in remote
areas, and that the government should be more
consistent in policy implementation. Most of these
firms would respond to initiatives to work with
the government or international bodies to support
local processing.


However, processing firms surveyed suggested
that efforts should target requirements of non-
EU markets, that the current interventions are
selective and do not involve farmers in remote
areas, and that the government should be more
consistent in policy implementation. Most of these
firms would respond to initiatives to work with the
government or international bodies to support
local processing.


4.5 A vAlue chAin cOmpArisOn:
ethiOpiA And kenyA


Table 4.3 outlines a country and value chain
comparative overview between Ethiopia and Kenya


ethiopia (coffee) kenya (tea) kenya (fresh vegetables)


Opportunity for upgrading:
linkages seen but not grasped


No upgrading in forward linkages Forward linkage development,
significant local upgrading


• High competition between exporters
and processors


• Large domestic market/EU


• Marketing board inefficient


• CSFs: price, quality, trust, lead times


• Lead firms: some assistance, but not
support for functional upgrading


• Constraints: access to inputs, skills


• Dual structure


• Vertical integration


• Supermarkets, regional traders


• CSFs: price, quality


• Weak buyer cooperation


• Intense supplier cooperation


• Constraints: import tariffs, cost
environment, land, finance


• Large firms dominate


• Increased integration backward and
forward


• EU supermarkets


• CSFs: Quality, product
differentiation, lead times


• Strong buyer cooperation


• Good private–public cooperation


• Constraints: infrastructure, access
to finance, sectoral policy


No specific policy on forward
linkages


No specific policy on forward
linkages


tAble 4.3: summAry cOmpArisOn: ethiOpiA And kenyA




Economic Report on Africa 2013


174


4.6 cOnclusiOns


The case studies highlight that efforts to
develop backward and forward linkages to soft
commodities need to take into account the
technical characteristics of the GVCs and the
structure of the industry. These are important
in determining the best strategies for local
upgrading and for African firms to move into
more profitable and more sustainable activities.


Government policies and local domestic
capabilities are critical determinants. Policies


need to target the processing industries as
well as the natural resource sectors. Improved
coordination is also important in the private
sector between farmers, growers, processors and
exporters. Only such systemic competitiveness
along the entire local value chain will enable
firms to meet the requirements imposed by
end markets for price, quality, standards and
so forth. As domestic and regional markets are
encouraging firms to move up the value chain
in countries with higher capabilities, Africa’s
regional integration is therefore important to
support and deepen such upgrading.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


175


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nOtes


1 The small sample size of some of the value chains in this and the next chapter requires us to be cautious when
interpreting the data. However, we believe that we present a representative snapshot of the extent of backward and
forward linkages and their determinants.


2 Unlike output from the mineral and oil sectors, output from food commodity sectors can vary enormously in quality,
price and specifications. This implies that the productivity, skills and technological capabilities at the commodity
production stage have a critical impact on the volume, quality and price of inputs supplied to the processing
industries.


3These include Multitrex Plc, FTN Cocoa Processing Plc, Cadbury Nigeria Plc and Nestlé Plc.


4 Price competitiveness, good quality, flexible production system, lead times, capacity to learn and keep up with
innovation (“Learning/innovation” in the charts) and trust.


5 Others are the Manufacture-In-Bond Scheme, Export Development Fund Scheme, Currency Retention Scheme, Tax
Relief on Interest Income, Pioneer Status Scheme, Export Processing Zone, Buyback Arrangement and Capital Asset
Depreciation Allowance.




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Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


179


Making the Most of Linkages
in Industrial Commodities5




Economic Report on Africa 2013


180


Maintaining competitiveness of local firms
in the international global chain markets


require government intervention and effort.


Local content policies such as targeting skills
development, technological capabilities and access to
capital can increase the breadth of backward linkages


in the mining and oil sectors.


Outsourcing to local suppliers by lead commodity
firms in the mining and oil sectors creates an


opportunity for capacity building in local content
requirements.


Local firms are exposed
to threats from global


competitors due to the lack
of a coherent and focused
government strategy, and


limited governmental efforts
in shaping the extent of value


addition of backward linkages
in the mining sector.


C
O


M
P


ET
ITI


VENESS


G
O


V
E


R
N


M
EN


T
IN


TE
RV


ENT
ION


LOCAL
SUPPLIERS


O
UT


SO
UR


CING


CAPACITY BUILDING


RESOURCES


GLOBAL


C
O


M
PE


TITORS


THREATS


IN
A


D
Eq


UATE STRAT E
G


IES


LOCAL CONTENT POLICIES HAVE PROBABLY BEEN THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT
POLICY DRIVER OF LINKAGES FROM THE COMMODITY SECTOR.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


181


Public investment in infrastructure, firms’
investment in product and process
upgrading in the mining and textile


sectors leads to increase in product
quality, product diversification and


increased competitiveness.


C
O


M
PE


TITIVENES
S


C
O


M
PE


TITIVENES
S


C
O


M
PE


TIT
IVENESS


IN


VE
ST


M
EN


T


HARD COMMODITIES ARE GENERALLY VERY
TECHNOLOGY, SCALE AND CAPITAL INTENSIVE
AND REqUIRE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT CAN
BE USED FOR DEVELOPING OTHER SECTORS.


TECHNOLOGY


INFRASTRUCTURE


INVESTMENT




Economic Report on Africa 2013


182


This chapter focuses on how well Africa is making the most of primary commodities to develop linkages for its industrial
commodities and to drive its industrialization. It
deals primarily with backward linkages to local
suppliers, but also discusses some forward
processing and marketing linkages. The industrial
commodity sectors discussed are cotton, textiles
and clothing (Egypt); leather (Ethiopia); oil
(Nigeria); copper (Zambia); gold (Ghana); and
mining supplies (South Africa).


The analysis focuses on links along the global
value chains (GVCs) driving these sectors and
connecting local producers to export markets.
It reviews how the lead firms controlling these
value chains help or hinder the breadth and depth
of forward linkages, the factors that prevent local
firms from shifting into valued-added activities,
and how government policies can influence
domestic industrialization.


The case studies highlight the role of buyers
and policies in developing backward and forward
linkages. Ethiopia’s leather industry and Nigeria’s
oil supply industry provide examples of countries
where linkages are not only developing but
also deepening into high value added activities.
Nigeria’s local content policies date back a few
decades, and with time created opportunities
seized by domestic businesses and encouraged
by policies for developing business and creating
skills. Ethiopia is at an earlier stage, although
its export tax is accompanied by programmes
to build technologies, capital and a trained
workforce into which domestic firms can tap.
In both cases, buyers have had an incentive to
cooperate with local firms and have supported
firms’ product and process upgrading. Value
addition is not necessarily linked to ownership of
national firms, but some at least of the linkage
development in these two industries has been
driven by national companies.


Ghana and Zambia are in the middle of the
spectrum. Mining has a long history in both
countries, which have seen investment booms—
Ghana since the 1980s and Zambia since the


2000s. Governments there have done little to
shape backward linkages to mining, such that
they have been populated by many domestic and
foreign suppliers, which absorb a large share of
the mining companies’ local operational spending,
leading to doubts over how deeply rooted these
local supply chains are. It is hard to gauge the
extent of value added, but it is clear, at least in
Zambia, that most of the local firms surveyed are
importing goods with little technological, skills or
knowledge content. In Ghana, the local supply
chain may well be developing more dynamic
capabilities, albeit from a low base. In both cases,
little is also known about the extent of domestic
ownership.


The Ghanaian and Zambian case studies provide
some grounds for optimism, however. First,
employment linkages are very significant in
size and skills content. The chances of these
skills migrating to the supply chain should not
be discounted, and indeed some evidence
shows that this has already been happening
in the oil and mining sectors. Second, skills-
intensive services such as engineering, repair and
maintenance services have localized because of
spatial requirements. Third, the breadth of skills,
technology, capital and economies of scale in
supply links to mining creates real opportunities
for supply firms and countries at different stages
of economic development.


South Africa’s mining supply industry and Egypt’s
textile and clothing industry show well-developed
linkages with the commodity sectors, which are
struggling to remain competitive. Growth in the
South African industry was underlined by deep
government cooperation with the mining houses
and by heavy public investment in the national
system of innovation. The industry acquired areas
of knowledge that were specific to the deposit
type and extraction techniques of local mines,
and this enabled it over time to become a global
leader in some products and services.


As South African mining houses internationalize,
their trust-based relationships with their suppliers
could give these suppliers an advantage: if




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


183


the houses are confident of their suppliers’
quality and competence, they are more likely to
continue working with them in operations abroad.
However, South African firms are still exposed to
global competition and ultimately a South African
mining house in Africa or Latin America will
decide on the basis of the most competitive—all
things considered—offer.


Egyptian cotton is world renowned for its quality.
On this basis, the country integrated forward
from raw cotton to fabrics to clothing and
manufacturing of home textiles (such as carpets,
rugs, bed linen and towels).Egypt continues to
export successfully, partly through preferential
agreements with the US and Europe. Moreover,
the textile and clothing firms produce very high
value added products. The companies invest
heavily in product and process upgrading, which
enables them to be strong in product quality and
diversification. The most supportive government
policy has been infrastructure investment;
others had mixed results, largely owing to poor
implementation.


Egypt’s textile and clothing firms and South
Africa’s mining supply companies are under
increasing threat from global competition.
In Egypt, the textile stage of the cotton
value chain has been eroded by Asian fabric
manufacturers and by poor domestic capabilities.
Further downstream, clothing and home textile
manufacturers struggle to compete with low-
cost Asian exporters in third-country markets,
especially after the end of the Multifibre
Arrangement.


In South Africa, the mining supply industry
struggles to compete at the bottom of the
technological spectrum with low-cost, low-
tech Asian producers, and at the top of that
spectrum with advanced economies such as
Australia. In both cases, the lack of a coherent
and focused government strategy to help the
sectors is to blame. China is a particular threat
to manufacturing activities, while Australia is to
research and development (R&D)–type activities.
The South African experience shows particularly


that linkage development is a cumulative
process, and continuous investment is required in
technologies, R&D and skills.


Egyptian firms exporting to European and US
buyers have to meet stringent requirements
and are assisted by global brands and retailers
in meeting them. This approach is completely
different from firms selling to traders in domestic
and regional markets. South African mining
companies had intensive linkages with suppliers
that helped to jointly develop products that were
highly location specific. Nigerian oil companies
are cooperating with local suppliers to help
upgrade local capabilities.


Similar to the soft commodities analysed in the
previous chapter, Ethiopia’s leather and Egypt’s
textile and clothing industries also rely on the
quality, volume and consistency of supplies from
the commodity sector to be competitive. Again, a
strategy targeting the processing industries must
be integrated with interventions for commodity
producers and primary processors.


Finally, another finding of the case studies is
that mining and oil companies see it in their
own interest to outsource to local suppliers.
Outsourcing has reduced transaction costs, lead
times and the need for large stocks, but they only
outsource if it is economically efficient, and do so
in partnership with other stakeholders. The lead
commodity producers’ interest in outsourcing is
important from a policy point of view because
local content requirements coupled with capacity
building could be aligned with corporate
strategies of lead commodity producers. In a
similar vein, Egyptian textile and clothing firms
are vertically integrated because they need to
internalize market failures in the weaving, dyeing
and knitting stages of the value chain—but to
perform at optimal capacity, they need to operate
in a textile cluster that allows them to outsource
these activities. Linkage development policies
could therefore be instrumental in supporting
broader industrialization strategies and increasing
the competitiveness of existing industries.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


184


bOx 5.1: sOme elements in the cOttOn, textile And clOthing gvc


Fibres are processed from plant or chemical-based raw materials and are spun into yarn that is
used to produce woven or knitted fabric. The fabric is then finished, dyed or printed, and cut into
pieces to produce clothing or products for other end markets (home furnishings, industrial or
technical consumer products).


Much clothing production remains labour intensive, has low start-up and fixed costs and requires
simple technology—characteristics that have encouraged clothing production to relocate to low-
cost areas, mainly in developing countries. Textile production is more capital and scale intensive
and demands higher workers’ skills. Some has stayed in developed countries or shifted towards
middle-income countries.


A series of intangible activities add value to clothing products—product development, design,
textile sourcing, distribution, branding and retailing. These are controlled primarily by four main
types of lead firm (and by some intermediaries and suppliers): mass-merchant retailers, speciality
retailers, brand marketers and brand manufacturers.


Source: Interviews with textile firms, 2012.


5.1 cOttOn, textiles And clOthing


The global value chain


The cotton to clothing GVC can be divided into
several stages (box 5.1 and figure 5.1): raw


material supply, including natural and synthetic
fibres; yarns, including spun cotton and filament;
textile fabric production and finishing; conversion
and assembly of clothing and other textile-based
products; distribution and sales at wholesale level;
and final distribution at retail level.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


185


figure 5.1: cOttOn, textile And clOthing glObAl vAlue chAin


Source: ECA and AUC.


SEEDS


Fibres
• Natural—cotton/wool/ramie
• Man-made—synthetic


(polyester/ nylon, acrylic);
artificial(rayon/acetate)


CHEMICALS


Fabrics
• Woven
• Knit
• Non-woven
• Industrial fabrics


Conversion and assembly
• Apparel
• Home textiles
• Carpets and rugs
• Other made-ups (luggage/


tents/bags)


Buyers
• Mass retailers
• Brand retailers
• Brand manufacturers
• Industrial users


Retailers
• Multiples
• Speciality/limited outlets
• Direct/www-sales


Final consumers


Yarns
• Spun – cotton/wool
• Filament – manmade fibres/silk


MACHINERY,
ENERGY


AND
SERVICES


DESIGN


COMPONENTS


BRANDING AND
ADVERTISING


INPUTS


LOGISTICS AND
COORDINATION




Economic Report on Africa 2013


186


Global trends


The US, China and India dominate global cotton
production, with around two thirds. Cotton is a
major earner of foreign exchange in many African
countries and an important means of generating
cash income for millions of smallholder farmers.


World cotton yields stagnated for much of the 1990s
but rose by 35 per cent during 2004–2006, primarily
on technological advances, but these gains did not
increase growers’ income. Cotton has had very little
share in the commodity price boom. As one source
put it: “The consensus within the industry is that
‘growers are going to have to learn to adjust to lower
cotton prices’ for the foreseeable future, as a result
of more rapid growth in productivity” (Tschirley et al.,
2010: 2). Increasing the value added in this sector
through moving up the value chain is therefore a
necessity for African countries with large cotton
sectors.


China is by far the world’s largest clothing exporter.
Over the past two decades the country has
continually increased its export share in clothing
trade from 21.5 per cent in 1995 to 28.3 per cent
in 2004, and then dramatically jumping to 42.9 per
cent in 2010.


The EU-15 and the US are easily the largest clothing
importing markets, accounting for above 65 per
cent of global clothing imports in 2010. Developing
countries’ clothing exports are strongly concentrated
in those two markets. African countries that produce
textiles and clothing are therefore faced with
Chinese exports as their most serious competition in
home and third-country markets such as the EU and
US.


Chinese exports have, however, a positive
(complementary) impact as well as a negative
(competitive) one. This is an issue that has important
policy implications. Cheaper clothing for local
consumers has an important welfare-enhancing
effect while hurting the local manufacturers
who cannot compete at these prices. Similarly,
cheaper textiles provide valuable inputs to local
clothing production but also threaten the long-term
sustainability of regional and local textile–clothing
links.


Trade regimes


The clothing (and textile) industry has been one of
the most trade-regulated manufacturing activities
in the global economy. Although many quotas were
removed on 1 January 2005 with the end of the
Multifibre Arrangement, and totally in 2009 when
Chinese safeguards in the US and EU came to an
end, tariffs still play a central role in global clothing
trade.


For example, although average most-favoured-
nation tariffs on clothing imports are around 11
per cent for the US and EU, they vary widely by
product category. US tariffs on clothing products
are significant, with duties on cotton products
averaging 13–17 per cent and those on synthetic
products 25–32 per cent. EU tariffs on clothing
products vary between 0 per cent and 12 per cent,
but show no systematic differences between cotton
and synthetic products. Thus preferential market
access to these two economies has a huge impact
on global clothing trade patterns and boosts African
clothing-producing countries’ ability to compete
with Chinese and South-east Asian exporters.
Preferential trade agreements with the EU and US
are thus becoming increasingly critical.


Preferential market access to the EU usually
requires fulfilling “double-transformation” rules of
origin—regional conversion from yarn to fabric to
clothing—but rules of origin requirements changed
to “single transformation” for those countries that
signed interim Economic Partnership Agreements
in 2008 and 2009.


The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
offers trade preferences to the US for many African
countries (see chapter 2). It has been extended
several times over the last decade and is now set
to expire in 2015, but its temporary nature creates
uncertainties for current and potential investors
in the clothing industry. AGOA rules of origin
requirements state that clothing has to be made
85 per cent from yarns, fabrics and threads from
the US or produced in AGOA beneficiary countries.
However, a special rule—the Third Country Fabric
derogation—applies to less developed countries,
allowing them duty-free access for clothing made
from fabrics originating anywhere in the world.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


187


Although Egypt is ineligible for AGOA, in 2005 it
was accorded preferential trade access to the US
through membership of the Qualifying Industrial
Zone agreement linking it to clothing and textile
production with Jordan and Israel.1


Excluding North Africa, clothing exports jumped
from $2.1 billion in 2000 to $3.2 billion in
2004, but after the ending of the Multifibre
Arrangement dropped back to $2.0 billion.
Africa’s exports to the US as a direct result of
AGOA followed a similar pattern, increasing from
$748 million in 2000 to $1.7 billion in 2004 and
then decreasing to $904 million in 2010.


Developing countries have increasingly
negotiated their own regional trade agreements.
For Africa the most important are the Southern
African Development Community (SADC), the
East African Community, the Common Market
for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Economic
Community of West African States and the
Southern African Customs Union (SACU), although
negotiations and implementation drag out, and
textiles and clothing are often put on negative
lists.


Since 2006, regional preferential trade access
through SACU and SADC to the South African
clothing market has emerged as an important
growth pole for producers in Lesotho and
Swaziland, and Mauritius and Madagascar,
respectively. It has increased jobs and reduced
poverty, often among women. Mauritius and
Madagascar’s combined clothing exports to South
Africa jumped from $4 million in 2004 to $63
million in 2010, and Lesotho and Swaziland’s
together rose from $3 million in 2005 to $105
million in 2010. Yet despite this growth, South
Africa’s regional clothing imports have remained
almost marginal, reaching only 7.7 per cent in 2010,
pointing to still-large potential.


Egypt’s textile and clothing industry


The industry is one of Egypt’s most dynamic (figure
5.2). In 2008, it accounted for 5 per cent of GDP,
26.4 per cent of industrial production and close
to 10 per cent of exports. Textile and clothing
enterprises account for a fifth of all industrial firms,
and are the largest single employer with more than
400,000 workers, almost a quarter of the industrial
labour force in 2008.


Years


1,600


1,400


1,200


1,000


800


600


400


200


0
20001999199819981997199619961995 2001 2005 20092002 2006 20102003 20072004 2008 2011


Source: UN Comtrade, retrieved from http://comtrade.un.org/ (accessed 20 October 2012).


Textile Fibres (SITC 26) Textile Yarn and Fabric (SITC 65) Apparel, Clothing and Accessories (SITC 84)


$
M


figure 5.2: egypt’s textile And clOthing expOrts, 1995–2011 ($ milliOn)




Economic Report on Africa 2013


188


More than 6,000 textile-related companies are
registered with the Industrial Development
Authority. Ready-made garment manufacturers
represent 75 per cent of the textile and
clothing industry (Egyptian Commercial
Service, 2012), home textiles 12 per cent,
cotton yarn 8 per cent, and other cotton
fabrics and textiles 5 per cent. The bulk of
investment in textiles and clothing comes from
domestic sources ($1.3 billion out of $1.6
billion in 2012).


The end of the quota system in January 2005 had
severe consequences for Egypt’s textile exports
to third countries, as it brought them into direct
competition with those from Bangladesh, China,
India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey. This has
been partly offset by the 2004 Qualifying Industrial
Zone2 and by the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership
agreement (2005) with the EU. These two markets
account for more than three quarters of Egypt’s textile
and clothing exports. Investment in the sector rose
strongly in 1995–2007 (table 5.1).


Four firms’ perceptions


The firms selected for the Egyptian case study are
domestic privately owned firms, two with publicly
held minority shares, and two with minority shares
owned by regional companies. They are vertically
integrated, with subsidiaries or sister companies
involved in upstream activities (spinning and dyeing)
and downstream activities (trading). Annual turnover
in 2011 ranged from $7 million to $140 million,
and the firms have generally registered growth
in the past five years (2007–2012), hampered
more recently by political instability and rising raw
material costs. The firms are fairly labour-intensive


operations, with one firm employing 7,000 workers.


Egypt’s labour market presents severe problems
for textile companies, including shortage of skilled
labour, low productivity, absenteeism and high
turnover. Egyptian labour laws, according to the
firms surveyed, fail to address these issues. Firms
find it hard to develop human resources and,
with few exceptions (box 5.2), struggle to remain
competitive.


The case study covers one firm specializing in
ready-made garments under a client’s licence,
two in home textiles (one in carpets, rugs and


source 1995 2007 change between 1995 and 2007 (%)


Domestic 76 227 199


Arab 2 49 2,350


Foreign 11 75 582


Total investment 89 351 294


tAble 5.1: egyptiAn investment in textiles And clOthing by sOurce, 1995–2007
($ milliOn)


Source: General Authority for Investment and Free Zones Information Center, Cairo, retrieved from www.ameinfo.com/db-3315336.html (accessed 25 July 2012).


Note: Data are converted from Egyptian pounds to US dollars using the year-average official exchange rate, published 31 December 2011. Data cover companies
operating under Law 8 of 1997,inland and free zones, and companies organized by Company Law 159 of 1981.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


189


bOx 5.2: prOcess upgrAding thrOugh investment in skills


The upgrading of MAC Carpet, a domestically owned textile manufacturer, has been impressive.
It increased turnover from $101 million in 2005 to $140 million in 2011.


Part of its success is due to investing in human resources. It offers its employees training to
enhance their technical and personal skills. The company views that as a main motivator for them,
boosting their job satisfaction and loyalty to the company. It offers two types of training: general
(functional, technical or vocational) and self-development. The company allocates 1.5 per cent of
the annual remuneration budget to training and development.


MAC Carpet applies kaizen—the Japanese concept of continuous improvement—and allows
workers at every level to take part. Through teamwork and openness to suggestions, it
has improved productivity, raised product quality and secured higher customer satisfaction.
Employees learn to spot and eliminate waste during the production stage. The approach creates
a framework for a well-organized, disciplined and clean shop floor. The firm has set up 25
suggestion boxes, developed a communication plan, targeted 1,000 ideas and aims to carry out
100, and established a reward system.


Firm 1
(ready-made garments)


Firm 2
(carpets, rugs and mats)


Firm 3
(bed linen and towels)


Firm 4
(yarn and synthetic fabric)


Knitting Product design Cutting Yarn spinning


Dyeing Tufting Embroidery Preparations


Cutting Backing Sewing Warping


Sawing Cutting Assembly Processing into fabric


Printing Sewing Finishing


Embroidery Carving


Packaging Finishing


Packaging


tAble 5.2: prOcessing Activities Of fOur surveyed firms, egypt


Source: ECA and AUC.


mats, and one in bed linen and towels) and one
in yarn and synthetic fabric manufacturing and
trading, which allows a raft of issues affecting
different types of player to be reviewed.


Two of the firms are involved in high value added
activities (table 5.2). The ready-made garment
manufacturer goes beyond cut, make and trim


operations, which require shallow capabilities,
to supply-chain management, knitting, dyeing
and embroidery; and the carpet manufacturer
adds value through hand-carving by very highly
skilled workers, and through designs that include
cutting irregular shapes, which creates unique
products in a market where product differentiation is
essential.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


190


The firms are in three GVCs (high-end domestic
and regional markets, EU/US buyers, and low-
end domestic market), which have varying critical
success factors, or CSFs (figure 5.3). The carpet and
ready-made garment manufacturers export mainly
to Europe, less so to the US. The global buyers


for carpets are retailers and wholesalers, and for
clothing, retailers and global brands such as Levi’s,
Macy’s, Calvin Klein, and Marks &Spencer. These
firms are inserted into buyer-driven GVCs where
global buyers outsource labour-intensive stages of
their value chains.


The four firms’ CSFs are very demanding (see
figure 5.3). Their EU and US retailers and global
brands cater to middle-income markets, and so
price competitiveness and quality are important.
Because price is important, Egyptian firms
compete with South-east Asian and Turkish
companies. Moreover, these buyers rely on
just-in-time delivery, which requires their
suppliers in Egypt to supply, on very short lead
times, large volumes of highly differentiated
products. Innovation and adjusting production
to different product lines within short lead times
are therefore crucial competencies for Egyptian
firms.


Moreover, European and US buyers require
compliance with demanding technical standards.
To comply, Egyptian suppliers have to ensure


consistency of quality, and to run integrated
quality control systems from the yarn warehouse
to inspection of final products before packing
and shipping. Final quality control takes place
in a mini control room, where compliance with
American 2.5 Acceptance Quality Limit (AQL)
and European 1.5 AQL quality standards is
monitored for each order.


Beyond technical regulations, global buyers apply
private standards.3 These standards, with technical
ones, require traceability. Firms have to monitor
their own supply chains to ensure that standards
are adhered to further along the value chain.


One the four firms specializes in small volume,
high-quality home textile products (it has fewer
than 70 employees). Because this firm supplies


figure 5.3: buyers’ criticAl success fActOrs in egypt’s textile industry


Source: Interviews with four firms, 2012.


Pr
ic


e
co


m
pe


tit
iv


en
es


s


Le
ad


ti
m


es


Tr
us


t


G
oo


d
q


ua
lit


y


Fl
ex


ib
le


p
ro


du
ct


io
n


sy
st


em


Le
ar


ni
ng


/ i
nn


ov
at


io
n


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm


9.0 9.5 7.5 8.0 7.5 6.5EU/US buyers


Low end
domestic market 9.0 8.0 7.0 8.0 7.0 8.0


7.0 10 5.0 10 5.0 9.0High-end domestic/
regional markets




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


191


niche markets, product quality is the key CSF,
which with fast lead times and trust is sufficient
to maintain links to domestic and regional
traders. Competition is limited to other Egyptian
quality producers. One of the other three firms
sells synthetic yarn and fibre to the lower end
of the domestic market. In this market, price
is paramount and competition from Asian
manufacturers stiff.


The variance in CSFs is reflected in different
upgrading trajectories by the firms. In domestic
and regional markets, incentives to innovation and
product quality upgrading are weak. Firms exporting
to retailers and global branders have to meet
demanding requirements on product differentiation,
standards compliance and quality/volume
consistency. Hence they invest heavily in product
and process upgrading (box 5.3).


Long-term relationships with European and US
buyers have enabled the firms to invest in product
and process upgrading, and in expanding capacity.
In one firm, European buyers have assisted in
complying with private standards. Conversely, firms
supplying traders in domestic and regional markets
operate on market-based arm’s-length relationships.


The firms are demanding on their suppliers for
quality, price, flexibility, lead times and trust. Local
suppliers can match foreign suppliers on price,
but underperform on quality, flexibility and trust.
Compliance with technical and private standards
requires first- and second-tier suppliers to
meet not only Egyptian manufacturers’ product
specifications but also final buyers’ public and
private standards. Quality includes requirements
for product characteristics and production


processes that are essential for staying in the value
chain.


One firm cooperates with its suppliers to
address their bottlenecks. It joined the National
Supplier Development Plan run by the Industrial
Modernization Centre, an independent body set
up in 2000 to help build global competitiveness
of Egypt’s manufacturing. In one exercise, the firm
selected 12 of its key suppliers for “gap analysis”
on their quality, production, health and safety, and
management systems. A gap closure strategy was
formulated and an action plan developed, which
helped in building the suppliers’ capability to meet
required standards. But the other firms rarely if at
all assist suppliers—indeed, one reported that the
procedures of the Industrial Modernization Centre
are too burdensome and bureaucratic.


bOx 5.3: upgrAding tO cOmpete—cArpets And yArn


The carpet manufacturer surveyed has invested in the latest generation of a highly versatile
printing technology known as “JET printing”, which results in the shortest minimum production
runs in the industry today (as low as 500 square metres), maximum dye penetration into the
highest and most dense piles, and the highest printing resolutions.


The firm applies more than 10 different types of backing, which allows it to produce a wide range
of colour designs. This is complemented by various combinations of finishing techniques: surging,
tape binding, wide webbing, and cotton or nylon fringes. Packing is tailor made for wholesale and
retail markets, and includes bar coding.


The yarn exporter has adopted highly automated fabric-processing operations. Using
sophisticated circular and flat-knitting machines, the firm manufactures high value added fabrics,
such as single jersey, rib, pique, interlock, drop needle and mini-jacquards. This is backed up by
close quality inspection during and after knitting.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


192


The firms are highly vertically integrated,
because this allows them to internalize market
failures and minimize transaction costs, but it
is not always efficient—for example, one firm’s
dyeing unit operates at 50 per cent capacity.
Ideally, they should outsource labour-intensive
activities such as packaging, embroidery and
marketing support, which would allow them to
focus on their core business. Small and medium-
sized enterprises and cluster development


strategies could support their competitiveness.


Opportunities lie both in backward linkages
(high-quality cotton fabrics) and forward linkages
(new products such as carpet tiles), but these
are constrained by several factors (figure 5.4).
Interestingly, “soft” infrastructure issues—notably
corruption and security—are more prominent
than hard infrastructure matters.


Challenges and policies


The Egyptian textile and clothing value chain
faces a twin challenge: for intermediate stages,4
relocation to Asia; for final product manufacturers,
competition from low-cost Asian producers in low
and middle domestic and third-country markets.
Building competitiveness in manufacturing fabric
is particularly important because Egypt needs to
specialize in processing its highly prized extra-
long staple cotton for market niches, rather than
compete on price with Asia.


Around 70 per cent of locally produced yarn is
controlled by the public sector. Spinning, weaving
and hemming industries have been slow to


privatize because of the high cost of investment
and long payback periods on investment. Dyeing
and finishing are the weakest stages in the
value chain, as they have received the lowest
investment. Domestic capabilities in dyeing local
cotton are also weak, so too in spinning and
weaving where machinery in public companies
has not been replaced for more than25 years
(box 5.4). Management in all these stages is
underperforming, and deliveries unreliable. In
contrast, private companies control 99 per cent of
clothing and home textile manufacturing capacity,
the result of privatization over the last 15 years.


The 2008 Industrial Development Strategy aims to
develop exports and deepen the country’s integration


figure 5.4: rAting Of fActOrs Affecting linkAge develOpment in egypt’s
textile industry


Source: Interviews with four firms, 2012.


Q
ua


lit
y


of
in


pu
ts


A
va


ila
bi


lit
y


of
in


pu
ts


Im
po


rt
ta


rif
fs


o
n


im
po


rte
d


go
od


s
Po


or
in


fra
st


ru
ct


ur
e


A
cc


es
s


to
e


xt
er


na
l m


ar
ke


ts
S


ki
lls


a
va


ila
bi


lit
y


La
bo


ur
c


os
ts


G
en


er
al


p
ol


ic
y


en
vi


ro
nm


en
t


A
cc


es
s


to
fi


na
nc


e
C


or
ru


pt
io


n


S
ec


ur
ity


R
oa


d
tra


ns
po


rt
ne


tw
or


ks


C
os


t e
nv


iro
nm


en
t


6.0 4.6 4.3 4.5 4.8 6.3 6.3 6.5 7.3 7.3 7.3 8.0 7.8


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


193


with the global economy, and proposes promotion of
medium- and high-tech subsectors to ensure long-
run competitiveness of the whole industrial sector
(without discarding resource-based and low-tech
activities). Yet the government has no coherent
strategy for textiles and clothing, largely because of
conflicting interests between domestic and export
producers. Rather, it has used presidential decrees
on cotton growing and three final product groups—
textiles (yarn and fabrics), home textiles and ready-
made garments.


The government is looking to attract private
investment upstream in order to sharpen the
country’s competitive advantage, while the Textiles
Development Center at the Ministry of Industry and
Foreign Trade is considering promoting “Technical
Textiles”, which can support a broad range of
industries. The Textile Development Strategy—Vision
2020 was launched in 2007, and aims to expand
exports to $10 billion and create more than5 million
jobs.


The Industrial Development Authority focuses
on attracting new investment to strengthen the
upstream supply chain; shortening lead times for
clothing exports to the EU; enabling entry to higher-
value segments; and diversifying into denim mills
and laundries, intimate apparel, premium knitters and
premium fabric. Since 2007, Egypt has invested in
free economic zones. But investment in the zones
is not planned in an integrated way, and political
instability has further hampered the effort. Nor is
there any cluster development, and the cost of
capital is high for local firms.


The firms surveyed believe that the policy framework
does not promote technological upgrading. Importing
new machinery, for example, is expensive because of
burdensome procedures and import duties.


The vertical integration observed in the survey is
unsustainable, and integrated clusters need to be
developed. To increase local content, the government
provides export incentives, depending on the type of
product and area of production, among other factors.
Firms selling to the domestic market, however, seem
unaware of incentives report that they are disbursed
inconsistently (depending on funding), or that
procedures to claim them are unclear.


5.2 leAther


The global value chain


Aside from the early stage of animal husbandry,
the leather GVC starts with supply of hides and
culminates with finished leather products for the
final market. The principal hides are bovine, sheep
and goat. They are processed in tanneries before
being manufactured into leather footwear, garments
and accessories like travel bags and belts, technical
products, or household and automotive upholstery.


The leather value chain has five stages: hide supply,
semi-processed hides, finished leather, finished
products, and the market. To show exactly where these
two streams separate, it is necessary to separate the
tanning or semi-processed hides process into two
streams (figure 5.5).


bOx 5.3: thrOwing mOney dOwn the drAin


The quality of spinning, weaving and dyeing is low, often forcing local manufacturers to import
yarn and finished fabrics—manufactured in Asia using high-quality Egyptian cotton—from
Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan.


Egypt is therefore throwing away substantial added value in a chain where it has a unique
commodity—its globally renowned raw cotton. This added value is Egypt’s for the taking. The
government is, however, aware that these are the least competitive stages of the value chain.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


194


Five stages


The first processing part of the value chain takes
raw hides from suppliers and tans them into semi-
processed leather. This is a peculiarity of the chain
since it depends on the processes and activities
in another value chain—animal production and
slaughter for meat. The animal production and
slaughter industry has a major impact on the
quality of the hides.


The main exporters of bovine and sheep hides are
the US, Australia, Spain, France, UK, New Zealand
and South Africa. Developing countries are the
main producers of bovine hides, sheepskins and
goatskins, but are not the dominant exporters
of bovine hides. Their share of global exports is


increasing, owing partly to improving husbandry
and tanning skills. Because hides are a global
commodity, the price of hides is determined on the
world market.


Average global hide prices stayed fairly constant
in 1988–2001, dipped to a slightly lower base,
fell rapidly as the global crisis kicked in and then
recovered (figure 5.6). The weak global economic
situation affected consumer confidence, with a
consequent decline in demand for leather and
leather products. Tanners, as well as shoe and
leather-goods manufacturers, face increased costs
of production also from higher chemicals, energy
and freight costs. The lower margins have led to
tanners’ unwillingness to offer higher prices for
hides.


figure 5.5: key elements Of leAther glObAl vAlue chAin


Source: ECA and AUC, 2012.


1. Hide supply Exports


Split exports


Exports2. Semi-processed hides


3. Finished leather


4. Finished products


5. The market


Farmers, feedlots
and abattoirs


Wet blue, crusted
pickled, salted, etc.


Leather for
automotive


Cut and stich
auto upholstery


Footwear, garments,
bags, general goods,


manufacturers


Leather for footwear
and general goods


Consumer markets




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


195


The next step takes semi-processed hides and
re-tans them into finished leather ready for use
by manufacturers. The type of finished leather
depends entirely on the product that it will become
part of, which is why leathers tend to be separated
at this stage.


After this stage, hides can travel in one of three
directions: footwear tanning, automotive tanning or
exports. The orientation of finishing tanneries has
altered over the last few decades. Whereas they
used only to produce leather for footwear, general
goods and furniture manufacturers, many are now
also producing leather for automotive upholstery
manufacturers.


The final production stage is the manufacture of
leather products. This is undertaken by a variety of
firms ranging from large, capital-intensive factories
to small, labour-intensive enterprises. The GVC is
ultimately driven by global marketing agents who
sell intermediate and end products, operating at
different stages in the chain.


These agents have market knowledge, design
capability and a wide network of sales channels,
which allows them to control the value chain and
derive the greatest rents. They manage the complex


supplier stages of the chain, contract production by
enterprises, set the quality standards, sometimes
provide the necessary finance and serve the
customers in the final markets.


Upgrading activities in developing countries is
hence tied to meeting these knowledge-intensive
and technical standards, which imposes a major
burden on producers in low-income countries,
as they often lack the knowledge, managerial
capabilities and design skills to identify their own
end markets.


Upgrading opportunities and challenges


The importance of the leather industry stems from
the fact that it can flourish both in low- and high-
wage economies so that, although it offers scope
for exploiting natural comparative advantages in
commodities, it also offers potential for low-wage
economies to follow an upgrade path based on
dynamic specialization.


A well-developed hide production and tanning
industry is the starting point for upgrading leather-
product manufacturing, which cannot develop
without local supplies of material. By improving hide
and tanning quality, local footwear and leather-product


figure 5.6: wOrld hides price, jAnuAry 1980–september 2012 (us cents/lb)


120


100


80


60


40


20


0


19
80


19
94


19
87


20
00


19
84


19
98


19
91


20
05


20
11


19
82


19
96


19
89


20
03


20
09


19
81


19
95


19
88


20
02


20
08


19
85


19
99


19
92


20
06


20
12


19
83


19
97


19
90


20
04


20
10


Source: International Monetary Fund Primary Commodity Price monthly data, retrieved from www.imf.org/external/data.htm (accessed 20 October 2012).


Note: Heavy native steers, more than53 pounds, wholesale dealer’s price, FOB Chicago.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


196


manufacturers in Africa can upgrade their product
quality.


Quality problems are the main factor constraining
African suppliers from sustaining exports. The
upgrading challenge facing suppliers is demonstrated
by a benchmarking exercise undertaken by the
United Nations Industrial Development Organization


that compared Kenya, Ethiopia and Italy (table 5.3).
Although a decade old, there is little reason to assume
that the relationships will have changed dramatically.
In any case, the point is to demonstrate that Africa’s
competitive advantage lies only in the lowest link in
the chain where the accruable rents are the lowest.
If the aim is to move into value-added linkages, a
sustained upgrading effort is required.


factors
Africa developed country


Kenya Ethiopia Italy


Availability of raw hides and
skins


Abundant Abundant Low


Quality of raw hides and
skins


Generally poor Low–high High


Access to and cost of raw
materials


Generally easy Generally easy Difficult


Access to financial resources Difficult Difficult Easy


Sustained capital investment Low Low High


Technological sophistication
of facilities and equipment


Low–medium Low–medium Very high


Process skills Limited Limited Very high


R&D Limited Limited Very high


Product development Limited Limited Very high


Tradition in the industry Fairly recent Fairly recent Early


Unique skills within the
sector


Rare Rare High


Degree of vertical integration Low Low High


Product perception by the
global market


Poor Poor (high for
sheepskin)


Very high


tAble 5.3: quAlitAtive benchmArking Of fActOrs in the leAther supply chAin


Upgrading by developing countries requires
enhanced knowledge, improved technology and
access to finance (Memedovic and Mattila, 2008).


To achieve business success the public sector
needs to assist with productivity and technology
centres, training facilities, cleaner production centres


Source: Kiruthu (2002).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


197


Source: UN Comtrade data, retrieved from http://comtrade.un.org/ (accessed 15 October 2012).


Note: Standard International Trade Classification 21, 61 and 85.


figure 5.7: vAlue-Added cOntent Of leAther/hide expOrts frOm ethiOpiA,
2004–2011 (%)


Years


100%


80%


60%


40%


20%


0%
20082004 20102006 20112007 20092005


Footwear Leather Hides


and investment and export promotion bodies to
provide information and advice on technical and
trading issues. These outfits need to offer practical
advice for enterprises so that they can upgrade
their manufacturing methods. The main objective
of such support is to make enterprises competitive
and attractive to the rest of the leather GVC
through improving their quality, production methods
and productivity. In Africa this also opens up
opportunities for intraregional trade of intermediate
and final products—leather manufactured products
including fashion accessories, as well as inputs to
the furniture and automotive industries.


Ethiopia’s leather industry


Bati goatskin produces the softest, finest suede.5
Ethiopian herders receive about $10 for the skins
that will produce a Bati coat. After tanning and
processing to “wet blue” or better levels for
export, the exporter collects about $40–50 for
the leather to be manufactured into a coat outside
Ethiopia. An importing wholesaler/ manufacturer
will then make the coat with a final retail price of
at least $400.


Most animals are slaughtered on individual
homesteads, not necessarily by people thinking
of transforming hides and skins into high-quality


leather, which throws up several issues, especially
on defects. Thus the value chain suffers from mis-
coordination from the start—animal husbandry—
and continues to the delivery of hides and skins to
a tannery where the real value-added stages start.
That is why for many decades before the turn of
the century Ethiopia exported huge quantities of
raw and semi-processed hides.


The government has attempted to address this
wastage at the bottom end to drive upgrading
through the links in the chain. It started in 2002
by restricting exports of low value added hides
and semi-processed leather, expanding into new
export markets and encouraging higher-value
products (Government of Ethiopia, 2002). One
of the main measures used to restrict exports
of low value added hides included an export tax
of 150 per cent on the hides exported. These
measures had a notable impact on the composition
of the leather industry’s exports, helping to
shift the leather industry to finished products
(figure 5.7).They provide the basis for engaging
international lead firms to assist local tanning and
manufacturing firms to upgrade their production
activities. Still, the overall impact in reducing
poverty and expanding the economy also has to
consider income reductions for hide suppliers due
to lower domestic prices.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


198


It is now beginning to suit the interests of foreign
buyers to provide support to local tanners for process
(but not product) upgrading in, for example, shortening
lead times and increasing production reliability. Bini
(2002) noted that local tanneries were helped to
produce what they were already manufacturing,
but faster and at better quality. Local footwear
manufacturers have also upgraded processes
(and products). Large firms have installed new
machinery, changed the organization of production
and raised quality, pulled by export opportunities and
pushed so as to lock into GVCs and meet their global
buyers’ technical requirements (Tegegne and Tilahun,
2009).


The institutional environment (government and
agencies) has also facilitated upgrading. The
government has supported exports by providing
industry zones and assisting large firms to partner
international actors. The Leather and Leather
Products Technology Institute, established in July
1999, has helped firms to innovate and upgrade


through training in design and shoe production skills
for employees of large and medium-sized firms.


The four firms surveyed in this case study are
domestic, private companies of varying ages,
employing around 300 workers each. (Around
10,000 Ethiopians work in the leather sector, which is
characterized by increasing domestic competition.)The
firms process hides into wet blue, crust and finished
leather. One firm is vertically integrated into shoe
manufacturing.


Firms’ perceptions


The four firms export to foreign garment buyers
and to local traders. The export market used to be
dominated by Europe, but is shifting to China and
India. Global buyers set a high bar for the CSFs
(figure 5.8). US, Italian and other European buyers are
particularly demanding, partly because they have to
comply with strict technical standards on chemical use
and processing techniques.


figure 5.8: buyers’ criticAl success fActOrs in ethiOpiA’s leAther industry


Source: Interviews with four firms, 2012


9.2 8.8 7.0 7.2 6.6 8.8


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm


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Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


199


Because of demanding global buyers, tanneries
set equally stiff conditions for their suppliers
(figure 5.9), although local suppliers struggle
to deliver high-quality skins to tanneries.
Moreover, because skins easily deteriorate, poor
infrastructure and weak treatment skills often


cause unusable inputs. Trust remains important,
and all tanneries support suppliers by providing
credit and salt to preserve the skins, but the
surveyed firms expressed the need for more
support for the upstream stages.


The surveyed firms believe that further upgrading
opportunities lie in diversifying (colour and
types of leather) and functionally upgrading into
shoe manufacturing (those not already in that
market). Ethiopia therefore needs to address
key constraints: the cost environment, quality of
inputs, availability of inputs, access to finance and
infrastructure (figure 5.10).


On access to finance, the Ethiopian
Competitiveness Facility, funded by the World


Bank and the government, has provided matching
grants to exporting companies engaged in,
among other areas, the leather and shoe sectors.
The International Finance Corporation (the
World Bank’s private sector investment arm)
provides loans and capital to private investors
in manufacturing, but this is not used as much
owing to lack of awareness. Finally, the Ethiopian
Leather and Leather Products Technology
Institute plays a critical role in providing skills to
the industry.


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm


figure 5.9: rAting Of lOcAl suppliers relAtive tO leAd-firms’ expectAtiOns in
ethiOpiA’s leAther industry


Source: Interviews with four firms, 2012


3.7 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.3
7.0


8.8 9.2 4.7 8.3 10 9.3CSFs


Local suppliers


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Economic Report on Africa 2013


200


Years


120


100


80


60


40


20


0
1992 2004 2006 2008 20101990 20021988 20001986 19981984 19961982 19941980 1992


Source: Computed from Central Bank of Nigeria Statistical Bulletin (2011), retrieved from www.cenbank.org/documents/Statbulletin.asp
(accessed 15 December 2012).


Oil export in total exports Share of oil revenue in Fed. Govt. revenue Oil output in GDP


figure 5.11: cOntributiOn Of Oil tO the nigeriAn ecOnOmy, 1980–2010 (%)


5.3 Oil industry


Nigeria’s value chain


Nigeria is the world’s 10th-largest oil producer and
depends heavily on the sector for GDP growth, taxes
and, particularly, exports (figure 5.11).


The oil value chain is structured into an
upstream sector (exploration and production)
and a downstream sector (crude processing
and marketing; figure 5.12). The key upstream
players are (mainly) multinational and (less so)
local companies. Multinational companies have a
competitive advantage in the technology required


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figure 5.10: rAting Of fActOrs Affecting linkAge develOpment in ethiOpiA’s
leAther industry


Source: Interviews with four firms, 2012.


9.0 8.3 6.3 3.0 5.3 4.0 2.8 3.9 4.3 2.5 6.0 4.3 1.0


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


201


for prospecting and exploration. Given that oil
extraction is intensive in capital, technology and
skills, the country has made real efforts to increase
local content in skills in the oil industry (box 5.5). The


largest oil producers are Shell Petroleum Development
Company Limited, Mobil Producing Nigeria
Unlimited, Chevron Nigeria Limited, and Texaco
Overseas Nigeria Petroleum Company Unlimited.


figure 5.12: Oil vAlue chAin


Oilfield
Services


Processing
Infrastructure


Distribution


Exploration


Exploration


Marketing


Production


UPSTREAM


DOWNSTREAM


Source: Teka (2011).


bOx 5.4: upskilling lOcAl wOrkers in nigeriA’s Oil industry


Efforts include:


• Establishing the Petroleum Technology Development Fund in 1973 for developing, promoting
and implementing petroleum technology and human resource development policies via
research and training for Nigerians.


• Setting up the Petroleum Training Institute in Delta State in 1973 to train lower- and mid-
level personnel to meet indigenous labour requirements.


• Founding the National College of Petroleum Studies in Kaduna in 1995 for high-level staff.


• Making heavy investments in research and education (by oil firms). Shell, for instance,
introduced an Intensive Training Programme in 1998 to prepare young graduates for work in
the industry.


Source: Oyejide and Adewuyi (2011).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


202


Upstream industries


Nigeria has gradually localized some important
upstream industries (Oyejide and Adewuyi,
2011). Focusing on three supply links to the
oil and natural gas value chain (fabrication and
construction, well construction and completion,
and control systems and information and
communications technology), Oyejide and


Adewuyi (2011) found that local sourcing
by oil companies is broad across goods and
services.


The findings of a survey of 15 oil companies
based in Port Harcourt and Warri (a third of the
total firms based there) point to substantial local
linkages: 11 of these oil companies sourced more
than half their goods from local firms (table 5.4).


local shares %


Input share in the value of final product


Up to 50% 33.3


Above 50% 33.3


Not indicated 33.3


Total 100.0


Share of local procurement of goods purchased from local firms


Up to 50% 25.0


51–75% 41.7


Above 75% 33.3


Total 100.0


Share of local service done by local firms


Up to 50% 25.0


Above 50% 75.0


Total 100.0


Share of final product purchase by local business


Up to 25% 41.7


26–50% 33.3


Above 50% 25.0


Total 100.0


tAble 5.4: survey On lOcAl cOntent Of 15 Oil firms, pOrt hArcOurt And wArri,
2011


Source: Oyejide and Adewuyi (2011).


The local supply chain is not only broad but also
deep, as shown by the high local content of
first-tier suppliers (table 5.5). About 55 per cent
of such firms indicate that their output has more


than 50 per cent local content, particularly for
suppliers in fabrication and construction, and
in well construction and completion. Functional
upgrading is also more likely in this segment.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


203


local content


Supplier type 0–25% 26–50% 51–75% 76–100%


Control system and ICT 31.6 21.1 21.1 26.3


Fabrication and construction 13.6 22.7 18.2 45.5


Well construction and
completion 20.6 20.6 17.6 41.1


Others 40 40 20 -


Total 22.5 22.5 18.8 36.3


tAble 5.5: lOcAl cOntent Of 45 first-tier Oil-supply firms, pOrt hArcOurt
And wArri, 2011


Source: Oyejide and Adewuyi (2011).


Buyer–supplier vertical cooperation is tight in
oil production, in negotiations and information
exchange, as well as in deeper forms of
cooperation aimed at improving quality, delivery
times and supply reliability, developing quality
assurance systems, and ensuring technical
upgrades and labour training (Oyejide and
Adewuyi, 2011).


Downstream supply firms


Building on previous research, the Nigerian case
study covers five downstream firms. Their core
business is processing and marketing petroleum
products (diesel, kerosene, lubricants, motor oil
and jet fuel). All the firms are part of larger groups
quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and two


of the five are foreign owned. Foreign ownership
is concentrated in manufacturing, which is capital
and technology intensive. The firms’ annual
turnover ranges between $29 million and $1.1
billion, and they employ 115–503 workers, mainly
with a tertiary education.


Nigeria’s oil processing and marketing companies
rely on a combination of imports by local agents
and locally produced goods and services, the latter
group accounting for 40–45 per cent of total
procurement (table 5.6). Only for one smaller, local
firm, did locally manufactured goods account for a
hefty 65 per cent of total supplies, including food,
equipment, spare parts and consumables. This
figure on local procurement is consistent with that
found upstream.


supply typology % of total procurement


Goods imported by agents 40–45


Locally manufactured goods 30


Local service providers 21–30


tAble 5.6: lOcAl sOurcing by Oil prOcessing And mArketing cOmpAnies, 2011


Source: Interviews with five downstream firms, 2012.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


204


Of the parameters set by these five firms for their
suppliers, trust is the most important when they
select suppliers (figure 5.13). Trust refers both to
contractual trust (meeting contractual obligations)
and to competence trust (suppliers’ ability to deliver).


The firms report that local companies tend to
underperform (figure 5.14), although trust and price
competitiveness are almost as good.


Foreign suppliers Local Suppliers


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm


figure 5.14: rAting Of lOcAl suppliers relAtive tO leAd-firms’ expectAtiOns
in nigeriA’s Oil industry


Source: Interviews with five downstream firms, 2012.


6.0 6.0 5.4 6.8 7.0 7.8Foreign suppliers


Local suppliers 6.6 7.2 6.4 8.0 8.8 8.4


figure 5.13: prOcessing And mArketing firms’ views On criticAl success
fActOrs in nigeriA’s Oil industry


Source: Interviews with five downstream firms, 2012.


6.2 6.2 6.2 6.8 6.6 8.6


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Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


205


To address weak local capabilities, the five firms
work with suppliers in a range of areas (table
5.7). They regard cooperation as closer for
information exchange, monitoring production
efficiency, facilitating access to finance,
improving technical capabilities, and reducing
delivery times. Two firms have set up supply-


chain management departments to identify
issues and assist local suppliers.


Supply-chain issues are important, but key constraints
to deepening local value addition reside elsewhere:
poor infrastructure, corruption and security, as well as
poor access to finance (figure 5.15).


question firm 1 firm 2 firm 3 firm 4 firm 5


Information exchange Consistently Sometimes Sometimes Consistently Consistently


Monitor production
efficiency


Consistently Sometimes Often Consistently Often


Upgrade production
efficiency


Consistently Sometimes Often Often Sometimes


Upgrade product quality Often Often Often Often Consistently


Reduce cost of production Sometimes Rarely Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes


Reduce the cost of
inventory


Often Rarely Sometimes Rarely Sometimes


Improve delivery time Consistently Sometimes Consistently Consistently Consistently


Improve access to working
capital/finance/equity
capital


Consistently Sometimes Consistently Consistently Consistently


Provide skills training Often Sometimes Often Often Consistently


Improve technical
capabilities


Consistently Sometimes Consistently Consistently Consistently


Developing internal quality
assurance system


Sometimes Often Sometimes Often Consistently


Joint new product design/
development


Consistently Sometimes Consistently Sometimes Rarely


Financing
pre-investment studies
i.e. business plan, market
studies or feasibility studies


Consistently Often Consistently Sometimes Sometimes


tAble 5.7: cOrpOrAte visiOn And supply-chAin develOpment strAtegy


Source: Interviews with five downstream firms, 2012.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


206


Policies


Nigeria has deployed linkage development
strategies since the 1970s:


• The Petroleum Act of 1969 included a section
on protecting indigenous Nigerian firms.


• The NNPC (set up in 1971) and its joint
ventures with oil multinationals aimed to raise
local participation in oil extraction.


• The Joint Operating Agreement of 1991 and
the Production Sharing Contract of 1993 with
multinational oil companies aim to have local
procurement provisions. Such stipulations
also apply to the Niger Delta Development
Commission, set up in 2000.


• The Nigerian Content Policy of 2005 has
directives on domiciliation of services, award of
low-tech onshore supply of goods and services
to indigenous firms, and support for domestic
procurement.


In 2010, the country enacted a new Nigerian
Content Policy to promote local value addition, build
local capacity and improve linkages between the oil
and gas industry and other sectors of the economy.
This policy gives first consideration to Nigerian
independent operators in awarding oil blocks,
oilfield licences, oil-lifting licences and contracts.
The policy has set a minimum local content target
of 70 per cent for all works and contracts to
be undertaken in, or on behalf of all oil and gas
companies operating in, Nigeria.


Nigeria’s local content strategy has had mixed
success. Local content has indeed increased but
not as fast as hoped for. It is estimated that local
content ranged from 3–5 per cent in the 1970s
to 1990s, 14 per cent in 2003 and about 20
per cent in 2004 (UNCTAD and Calag, 2006).
This should be compared with 45–75 per cent
recorded in, for example, Brazil, Malaysia, Norway
and Venezuela (UNCTAD and Calag, 2006). By
2009, Nigeria had reached 39 per cent (Oyejide
and Adewuyi, 2011).


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figure 5.15: rAting Of fActOrs Affecting linkAge develOpment in nigeriA’s
Oil industry


Source: Interviews with five downstream firms, 2012.


5.3 6.0 5.0 7.3 7.8 9.3 7.5 5.7 2.7 4.7 4.3 7.7 9.0


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


207


Source: International Monetary Fund Primary Commodity Price Data, retrieved from www.imf.org/external/data.htm (accessed 20 October 2012).


Note: Grade A cathode, CIF European ports.


Local content policy has suffered from poor monitoring
and supervision capacity by the NNPC, and lack of
comprehensive legislation (Oyejide and Adewuyi,
2011). Low funding for the NNPC is an important part
of the problem (EIU, 2009), aggravated by the crisis in
the Niger Delta region, where instability and violence
make business difficult. The views of the firms surveyed
confirm these points: they are all aware of government
policy to increase local content, but think it would be
more effective if coupled with implementation capacity.


5.4 cOpper


The global value chain


From 2002, copper has seen a price boom
(figure 5.16). Demand has been driven by China’s


investment in infrastructure and housing, and
by household consumer-goods manufacturing
(Farooki and Kaplinsky, 2012). The supply
response to the boom has been slow owing to
the long gestation periods involved in mining.
Exploration and mine development—the initial
stages of the value chain(figure 5.17)—require
large capital investment (usually sunk costs)
and involve very high risks of exploration failure.
Exploration and mining have also been hit by
falling ore grades in developed areas (such as
the US and Chile), high cost of capital, exchange
rate risks, political instability and labour disputes
in producing countries, and increasing costs of
exploring and mining new areas (ICSG, 2010).
The combined effect has been to add upward
pressure on prices.


figure 5.16: cOpper, lOndOn metAl exchAnge spOt prices,
jAnuAry 1980–september 2012 ($ per metric tOn)


12000


10000


8000


6000


4000


2000


0


19
80


19
81


19
82


19
83


19
85


19
86


19
87


19
88


19
90


19
91


19
92


19
93


19
95


19
96


19
97


19
98


20
00


20
01


20
02


20
03


20
05


20
06


20
07


20
08


20
10


20
11


20
12




Economic Report on Africa 2013


208


figure 5.17: cOpper glObAl vAlue chAin


Source: ECA and AUC.


Mining, smelting and refining are the activities in the
copper value chain associated with higher returns. In
light of the above supply-side constraints, and given
high profitability of exploration and mining in the last
decade, mining companies responded with huge


mergers and acquisitions around the globe (Farooki
and Kaplinsky, 2012). Acquiring existing production
facilities became the fastest avenue for TNCs to
control production, facilitated by the privatizing wave
in many developing countries from the 1990s.


Exploration


Logistics
services


Construction
services


Mine
construction


Mining


Geochemical
services


Geophysical
services


Concentration


Refining


Fabrication
(Wires, rods, bars, sections,
tubes, sheets, foils, plates)


Electrical and
electronic products


Construction


Transport
Industrial


equipment


Consumer
goods


Design


Mining support
services


Generic
services


Engineering
products


Physical infrastructure
Water
Energy


Financial services
Legal services


Accounting services
ITC services


OEMs,
spares and


components


Consumables


Fabricated
products


Scrap collection




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


209


An important feature of the copper mining industry
is the shift in ownership. By 2009, half the top 30
mining companies came from emerging economies
(Humphreys, 2009), including Brazil, Chile, India,
Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Poland, Russia and
South Africa. Eight of those 15 produced copper.
The leading copper commodity producers are now
huge international concerns, in both industrialized
and emerging economies, relying on global networks
of suppliers.


The supply chain for copper mining, smelting
and refining—the focus of the case study—
involves a wide range of goods and services
(table 5.8). These include sophisticated and


capital-intensive manufactured goods, such
as drilling equipment, conveyors, locomotives,
and scrapers. As highly sophisticated services
consist of specialized transport services and of
engineering services such as mining, electrical,
mechanical and civil engineering. (These goods
and services tend to be imported, with little
local value added.) Mid-range in technology and
skills intensity are supplies such as explosives,
detonators, process control services and
fabrication. Low-tech, low-skills services such
as cleaning, catering, security and personnel
transport are the supply links often locally
outsourced in African producing countries
(Morris et al., 2012).


stage supply


Open-pit mining and
underground mining


Explosives, detonators, drilling equipment and parts, conveyors, haulage and
excavators and their parts, tyres, consumables (fuel and lubricants), bulk materials
handling (conveyors, locomotives, scrapers), pumps and valves, vehicles, head gear
(motors, chains, cables), ventilation equipment, services.


Minerals processing Crushing and grinding equipment, storage tanks, chemicals and reagents, liquid-
solid separation equipment, materials handling (conveyors, pumps)


Smelting Furnaces, dryers, refractories, tapping equipment


Solvent extraction and electrowinning Reagents, chemicals, lime, handling equipment, vessels


General supplies and services Personnel protective equipment, health services, electrical equipment, electrical
and mechanical engineering services, security services, catering, cleaning,
administration, process control, civil engineering services, fabrication products,
construction material, rubber products, transport, power, laboratory testing services,
pneumatic and hydraulic equipment and services


tAble 5.8: supplies tO the cOpper glObAl vAlue chAin


Source: Fessehaie (2012a).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


210


A strategy aimed at building localized backward
linkages to mining can offer opportunities for
Africa to develop its manufacturing and services—
particularly as investment in copper mining
increases—ensuring the soundness of this strategy
for some years. Because these backward linkages
entail a wide range of technology, skills, capital and
minimum scales, African countries at different stages
of economic development have a wealth of linkage
opportunities.


Zambia’s copper industry


Zambia is Africa’s largest copper producer, exporting
$6.8 billion of copper in 2011. It contributes around
10 per cent of formal employment, and its share of
GDP increased from 6.2 per cent in 2000 to 9.9
per cent in 2010. With a reserve base of 35 million
metric tons of copper, even without new discoveries,
copper mining could continue at current rates for 60
years (ICSG, 2007).


Copper mining was opened to private investors in the
1990s, after structural adjustment. In 1997–2004,
all the mines had been privatized and sold to a
heterogeneous group of investors. Alongside mining
companies from Europe, North America, Australia
and South Africa—most of them listed on stock
exchanges—Zambia’s copper attracted Vedanta


Resources from India (although listed in London) and
the Non-Ferrous Metals Corporation from China.


Most copper is exported refined, reflecting heavy
investment in smelting prompted by the copper
price boom, as exemplified by the Chinese mining
company in a $310 million smelter.


Forward linkages are few, with one main semi-
fabricates manufacturers (Metal Fabricators of
Zambia) producing copper wire, copper rods
and power cables for the local market and for
export (South Africa and other regional markets).
Downstream processing capacity may come from
a Chinese investment in the Chambishi Zambia–
China Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone, worth
$800 million.6 This investment has the potential to
transform Zambia’s copper sector into a platform for
industrializing the Copperbelt.


Zambia has a long history of supply linkages for
Copperbelt mines (Fessehaie, 2012b). During
mining nationalization in the 1970s and 1980s,
backward linkage development to copper mining
was used to promote local manufacturing, but after
the subsequent privatization, most manufacturing
capabilities were lost, and the local supply chain
became populated by service providers, which may
be grouped into several subcategories (box 5.6).


bOx 5.6: service prOviders fOr zAmbiA’s cOpper


Agents and distributors supply the mining sector with capital goods, spares, components
and consumables (engineering products, electrical equipment, reagents). These firms often
provide services with very little value added, especially another subcategory of suppliers—
small importers. This is a large group of micro-businesses importing goods from South Africa
irregularly, adding very little value. With no overheads and operating largely outside the tax
regime, these small traders have pushed more established suppliers out of the value chain. Their
lack of technical expertise, facilities or capital often translates into failure to meet delivery times,
and in poor advisory and after-sale services. Because of this, after the 2008–2009 copper price
collapse, many mining companies squeezed them out of their supply chains.


A small group of agents have higher capabilities. They have managed to upgrade and provide
value-added services such as stockholding and stock management, and repair and maintenance
services. Some have also developed backward linkages to foreign manufacturers. By becoming
sole distributors and operating under technology agreements, they have addressed two key
constraints facing Zambian suppliers—access to capital and to knowledge.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


211


Previous research has shown that ownership of the
mining companies has important consequences
for local supplier upgrading (Fessehaie, 2012a).
In particular, supply firms in the supply chains of
industrialized countries or South African mining
companies were more likely to receive direct and
indirect cooperation in product and process upgrading,
unlike supply firms in the supply chains of Chinese
or Indian mining companies, which had arm’s-length,
market-based relationships. While at least the Chinese
supply chain offered substantial market opportunities
and lower entry barriers, neither Chinese nor Indian
companies supported local upgrading (Fessehaie,
2012b). The only supply firms that could escape these
dynamics were those with strong backward linkages
to original equipment manufacturers as subsidiaries or
sole distributors.


Two firms’ employment, spending and perceptions


The case study looked at the two largest copper
producers in the country, both headquartered
abroad, which together account for more than half
total copper output. Employment is substantial
(table 5.9). The interviews found that one company
had 8,656 permanent employees in 2012, the
other 2843. Around 90 per cent of them are
involved in mining operations, and around 10 per
cent in management. Of the permanent staff,
22–26 per cent are unskilled, and 35–62 per
cent have a school-leaving certificate. In one of
the companies almost 38 per cent of staff have a
tertiary education.


Another group of suppliers is highly specialized, and operates in skilled and sometimes capital-
intensive supply links. These services include drilling, engineering, specialized transport, and
pneumatic and hydraulic systems. Zambian-owned firms have been fairly successful in entering
this subsector (as well as the above subcategories, especially when entry barriers were skills
related, such as mechanical engineering, rather than capital related, such as specialized
transport).


Mining equipment is generally bought through local subsidiaries of original equipment
manufacturers. These subsidiaries undertake little or no manufacturing locally, but focus on
after-sales services, such as provision of spares and components, repair and maintenance. They
invest heavily in skills development, through continuous upskilling, local training centres and
sending personnel to South Africa for further training.


Finally are the manufacturing companies supplying inputs such as metallurgical, plastic, rubber,
painting and engineering products. Apart from one large steel foundry, they are quite small.
This group includes companies established after privatization, mainly by South African and
Asian investors, as well as firms established before the 1990s. Of the latter, very few managed
to compete with imports from South Africa and Asia, and most closed. The firms that survived
include Zambian, European and Asian firms.


Source: Fessehaie (2012b).




Economic Report on Africa 2013


212


firm 1 firm 2


Female Male Female Male


Management level
Higher
Middle
Lower


2
11


104


19
55


831


1
0


22


2
51


140


Qualifications
Tertiary education
School-leaving certificate
Unskilled


527
150


32


2,731
2,881
2,333


33
90


6


428
1,668


608


Nationality
Foreign
Local


3
706


105
7,842


10
119


148
2,566


Total 709 7,947 129 2,714


tAble 5.9: structure Of emplOyment in twO zAmbiAn cOpper miners, 2012
(number Of regulAr jObs)


Source: Interviews with five downstream firms, 2012.


The companies also employ thousands of largely
unskilled contract workers (one firm reported
employing 14,000). Female workers are largely
represented in the tertiary-educated, lower-
management sections of the labour structure.
Increasing copper prices and investment have led
to growing employment—in one company by as
much as 20 per cent in 2005–2011.


The companies invest in human resources at
different levels—funding primary, secondary
and technical education in the local community,


scholarship programmes at tertiary education
institutions abroad, and executive business
management training for senior management.


The two firms’ procurement decisions are made
in Zambia, although headquarters abroad are
involved in big-ticket items. The structure of
local procurement differs, but at first sight local
operational spending appears significant in 2012
(table 5.10), at $400 million–$800 million, or
more than 80 per cent of the total.


suppliers Operational spending ($ million)


Local Foreign Local Foreign


Number % Number % Amount % Amount %


Firm 1 448 58 319 42 801a 83 160 17


Firm 2 926 83 185 17 396b 84 74 16


tAble 5.10: sOurcing by twO cOpper firms, 2012


Source: Interviews with two firms, 2012.


a. Including contract labour; excluding such labour: $584 million(77% local and 23% foreign); b. Excluding contract labour.


Note: Expenditures exclude fuel, heavy fuel oil, electricity, wages, social expenditures, certain service costs and capital costs.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


213


A discussion of these figures requires qualification,
however. First, these figures do not reflect
the value-added content of the local supply
chain. These values are often expenditures on
local importing agents, whose operations are
characterized by low levels of technology, skills,
management and labour. They merely import
and add a mark-up, which means that, besides
some logistical capabilities, they develop very
few capabilities. Second, these figures refer to
locally registered suppliers, without distinguishing
between Zambian- and foreign-owned businesses.
Unfortunately therefore, the data tell us little
about value addition and local embeddedness of
Zambia’s copper supply chain.


The structure of local spending also varies, the
result of different procurement strategies (see
table 5.10). One of the firms sources from over
900 local suppliers (more than 80 per cent
of total suppliers). The average order size is


$428,000. The other relies on about half that
number of local suppliers (only 58 per cent of
suppliers), but places average orders of $1.3
million. The second firm has a procurement
strategy that aims to consolidate and rationalize
the supply base. By identifying the most capable
suppliers and cooperating with them to build their
competitiveness, it intends to outsource more, and
better, to local suppliers. (The first mining company
is not reorganizing.)


Mining companies in Zambia are often certified by
the International Organization for Standardization
and are required to produce consistently high-
quality copper, reflected in the CSFs, along with
price competitiveness and trust (figure 5.18). Poor
quality or lead times could have onerous financial
implications if, for example, mining ceased or
if workers’ safety was compromised. For these
reasons, mining companies set very demanding
parameters.


Pr
ic


e
co


m
pe


tit
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en
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s


Le
ad


ti
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es


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us


t


G
oo


d
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ua
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y
Fl


ex
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le
p


ro
du


ct
io


n
sy


st
em


Le
ar


ni
ng


/ i
nn


ov
at


io
n


figure 5.18: criticAl supply-chAin fActOrs in zAmbiA’s cOpper indusrty


Source: Interviews with two firms, 2012


9.5 10 7.0 8.0 8.0 9.5


S
up


pl
y


su
st


ai
na


bi
lit


y


9.5


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Economic Report on Africa 2013


214


Local manufacturers often lack the technological
capabilities, financial resources and economies of
scale to enter the most capital- and technology-
intensive links of the supply chain. Hence, the
two firms report that expenditures on locally
manufactured goods tend to be very low.


For local manufacturers to produce mining
equipment, there are also significant barriers in terms
of patents, standards compliance, R&D requirements
and warranty systems enforced by original equipment
manufacturers, which ensure that the latter also
largely control the supply of spare parts. According
to the two firms, local manufacturers could enter
manufacturing of mill balls, core trays and protective
personal equipment, and assemble light vehicles.


Most of the local expenditures are for local services
or imports through local agents, the former mainly
drilling, transport, construction, explosive blending,
mechanical and electric engineering; the latter mainly
mining equipment, spares and materials, largely from
South Africa. For one of the firms, the major sources
of imports are South Africa (58 per cent), Europe
(17 per cent), India and the Middle East (12 per cent
each).


The key constraints facing local suppliers include
lack of technically trained and experienced personnel,
managers’ lack of international experience, poor
infrastructure (particularly lack of a rail system and
border delays), unreliable electricity, weak government
support (such as 35 per cent corporate tax), lack of
finance and corruption.


To address weak supplier capability, one of the mining
companies designed a Local Business Development
Plan, which focuses on improving delivery time,
improving access to finance, providing skills and
technical know-how, and developing internal quality
assurance systems. The plan is implemented by the
procurement department and is contributing to long-
term relationships with local suppliers.


Policy


Historically, policy in Zambia played a key role in
the extent and nature of local linkages (Fessehaie,
2012a,b). After privatization, the policy framework for
upstream linkages to the mining sector was set by
development agreements between the government
and mining companies, which included provisions


on local procurement. The companies were to grant
local firms adequate opportunities to bid for tenders
and to ensure no unfair discrimination. They also had
to submit a local business development programme,
monitored by a cabinet-appointed, interministerial
committee drawn from the Ministry of Mines and
Mineral Development and the Ministry of Commerce,
Trade and Industry.


The development agreements’ provisions on local
suppliers were, however, largely disregarded by both
the mines and the government, for three reasons.8


First, the years after privatization were focused on
recapitalizing the mines. Later, policymakers and
the public focused on revenue and miners’ wages
(Mutesa, 2010). Also, until 2007, the contents
of the agreements were largely unknown to the
public, hamstringing civil society’s efforts to lobby for
enforcement (Haglund, 2010).


Second, policymakers failed to see the potential for
private sector development in localizing upstream
linkages. In 2012, they were not included in the
Commercial, Trade and Industrial Policy nor in any
private sector policy or programme.


Third, the ministries had poor institutional capacity.
They failed to conduct any comprehensive
assessment of the supply chain, set up monitoring
mechanisms or design support programmes. This
stemmed from high staff turnover and a highly
personal management style that built on individual
rather than institutional capabilities. Neither strong
political guidance nor resources were invested in
this area.


Ultimately, policy failed to encourage mining
companies to increase local content or to upgrade
local suppliers’ capabilities. The 2008 Mines and
Minerals Development Act, which abrogated the
development agreements, removed the only legal
obligation on the mines to develop local supply
clusters.


5.5 gOld


The global value chain


World prices for gold have soared in the last
decade (figure 5.19), driven by demand, especially
from emerging economies such as China. In 2009,




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


215


central banks, notably those of China, India, the
Philippines and Russia, used considerable amounts
of their liquid reserves to buy gold as a means of
diversifying their reserves assets in the aftermath of


the global financial crisis (Bloch and Owusu, 2011).
At the same time, new products have been devised
for investment, notably exchange-traded funds.


Historically gold production has been dominated
by a few countries, namely South Africa, the US,
Canada, Australia and the former Soviet Union.
South Africa has been the leading producer of gold,
accounting at peak levels for 60 per cent of world
mine production (Mjimba, 2011). Declining levels
of production in South Africa have been offset
by increasing production in smaller producing
countries, including Ghana and some other
countries in West Africa (Bloch and Owusu,
2011). West Africa’s output (Mali, Guinea,
Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Côte d’Ivoire) rose
by 65 per cent in 2006–2011, to 8 per cent
of global output. A total of 55 companies are


involved in 123 projects in 10 West African countries,
including Ghana.


The gold GVC is divided into four stages: exploration,
mine development, production, and refining and
beneficiation (figure 5.20). Final destinations
include jewellery and industry (electronics and
dentistry), as well as financial investment. The
supply chain for gold production, similar to copper
production, includes drilling equipment, conveyors,
locomotives, scrapers, specialized transport
services, engineering services, fabrication and low-
tech services (cleaning, catering, and security and
transport personnel).


figure 5.19: wOrld gOld price, jAnuAry 1970–August 2012 ($ per trOy Ounce)


Source: UNCTADStat, retrieved fromhttp://unctadstat.unctad.org/ReportFolders/reportFolders.aspx (accessed 18 October 2012).


Note: Gold 99.5 per cent fine, afternoon fixing, London.


2,000


1,800


1,600


1,400


1,200


1,000


800


600


400


200


0


19
70


19
71


19
72


19
74


19
75


19
77


19
78


19
80


19
81


19
82


19
84


19
85


19
87


19
88


19
90


19
91


19
92


19
94


19
95


19
97


19
98


20
00


20
01


20
02


20
04


20
05


20
07


20
08


20
10


20
11




Economic Report on Africa 2013


216


figure 5.20: the gOld glObAl vAlue chAin


Source: Mjimba (2011).


Ghana’s gold industry


Gold mining has for long been an important element
of Ghana’s economy (the colonizers after all called
it the Gold Coast) and more recently of social
development. Ghana now ranks 10th in worldwide
production and second in Africa, after South Africa.7


Mining’s contributions are manifold. The sector was
the largest source of corporate tax revenue in 2010
and accounted for $5.0 billion in exports in 2011, or 40


per cent of merchandise exports. The industry accounts
for more than50 per cent of foreign direct investment
inflows and, with oil, accounted for 8.5 per cent of
GDP in 2011. Mining showed growth of 18.8 per cent
in 2010, and the extractive industry 206.5 per cent in
2011, when commercial oil production began, taking
GDP growth to 14 per cent that year. Estimates from
the Ghana Mineral Commission indicate that total gold
production rose from 2.0 million ounces in 2004 to 3.7
million ounces in 2011. Mining and quarrying account
for about 1 per cent of jobs, employing some 20,000


Early
Exploration


Early Exploration
Evaluation


Late
Exploration


Exploration
Evaluation


Mine
Design


Mine
Construction


Drill and Blast
(Mine)


Haulage


Transport


Rehabilitate


Gold Refinery


Other Uses
e.g. Industrial,


jewellery


Market
(London Bullion


Market Association)


Exploration


Development


Production


Refining and
Beneficiation


Processing




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


217


Ghanaians directly in large mining, 6,000 in mine
support services and about 500,000 in small gold,
diamond and quarry production.


Ghana has 13 large mining companies producing
gold, diamonds, manganese and bauxite, and more
than300 registered small mining groups and
90 mine-support service companies. Large
mining is dominated by foreign multinationals
from South Africa, Canada, Australia, US, UK
and Norway. Small mining is dominated by
Ghanaians, largely as a result of the Minerals
and Mining Act of 2006 that keeps it for locals.
(It is an increasingly important source of direct
and indirect employment to young Ghanaians.)
A worrying trend is the growing antagonism
between small and large mining companies, as
they compete for concessions and their operations


encroach on each other.


Three firms’ spending and perceptions


The case study involves three large, foreign-owned
gold mining firms established in 1993–2004.
They employ 2,100–5,500 workers, and appear to
make substantial investments in developing human
resources.


Their local sourcing is heavy, at 67–79 percent of
total operational spending, or $254 million–$300
million in 2011 (table 5.11). They relied on 1,062–
1,324 local firms (66–71 per cent of the total
number of suppliers). Yet as with Zambia’s copper
mines, these figures are not indicative of local
value addition or of domestic ownership of local
businesses.


Local firms are involved in providing smaller
equipment, components, simpler and basic
manufactured products (bolts, protective
equipment, fans, etc.), consumables, as well as
maintenance and repair services. The problem is
that those produced locally rarely meet industry
requirements, so that local suppliers also import
these items. According to a senior officer at the
Minerals Commission, it is encouraging foreign
companies that supply these local suppliers to


relocate and operate in Ghana.


The firms have strict standards on occupational
safety, health and the environment, which are
passed down the value chain. Suppliers need to
comply with them in order to enter the supply
chain. In terms of CSFs, the chain is quality driven:
quality is the most important criterion in selecting
suppliers, followed by learning/innovation and
trust (figure 5.21).


number of suppliers value of operational expenditures ($ million)


Local Foreign Local Foreign


Firm 1 1,062 (68) 497 (32) 254(77) 74(23)


Firm 2 1,324 (71) 530 (29) 300(67) 150(33)


Firm 2 1,142 (66) 578 (34) 271(79) 79(21)


tAble 5.11: sOurcing by three gOld mining cOmpAnies, 2011


Source: Interviews with three firms


Note: Expenditures exclude fuel, electricity and wages capital costs. Figures in parentheses are percentages.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


218


The firms have found that local suppliers (relative
to foreigners) underperform on quality particularly,
and that they have weaker production flexibility
and learning/innovation. Their competitiveness is
affected by bad roads, lack of a rail system, power
shortages, limited access to finance, corruption
and poor security, and a weak local business
culture (for example, in respecting agreed lead
times). Mobile communication has been helpful in
improving supplier performance, however.


To address supply-chain bottlenecks, buyers
cooperate with suppliers. They allocate staff
to identify local suppliers and build capacity.
Information exchange takes place through annual
suppliers’ summits and buyer–seller forums, and
has seen local suppliers’ capabilities improve on
increased competition and technological capacity.
Finance, skills and technological competency are
other areas of cooperation.


The firms also identify challenges to increasing
local processing (figure 5.22). Gold refining and
further manufacturing into jewellery, medals, and
industrial uses are hampered primarily by poor
infrastructure, the single most important hindrance
in developing forward and backward linkages.


Policy


The policy framework (encapsulated in the Minerals
and Mining Act of 2006) reflects the government’s
effort to manage Ghana’s mineral resources
along the lines of sustainability and broad-based
development. It focuses on skills creation, workers’
safety and health.


Arising from the recent discovery and exploitation
of oil and gas reserves, the issue of local-content
backward linkages has taken on a new importance.
A new draft policy, to be placed before the cabinet,


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n
sy


st
em


Le
ar


ni
ng


/ i
nn


ov
at


io
n


figure 5.21: rAting Of lOcAl suppliers relAtive tO leAd-firms’ expectAtiOns
in ghAnA’s gOld industry


Source: Interviews with three firms, 2012


4.7 4.7 3.3 4.3 5.7 6.3Local suppliers


Foreign
suppliers


7.7 8.7 7.3 6.3 8.3 7.7


6.0 9.7 6.0 4.3 7.7 7.7CSFs


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


219


aims to establish a more comprehensive and
forward-looking framework for mining. It highlights
local content to facilitate backward linkage and
community development, as well as regional
economic integration.


5.6 A three-cOuntry cOmpArisOn:
nigeriA, zAmbiA And ghAnA


These three countries’ linkage development is
summarized in table 5.12.


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm


figure 5.22: rAting Of fActOrs Affecting linkAge develOpment in ghAnA’s
gOld industry


Source: Interviews with three firms, 2012.


Q
ua


lit
y


of
in


pu
ts


A
va


ila
bi


lit
y


of
in


pu
ts


Im
po


rt
ta


rif
fs


o
n


im
po


rte
d


go
od


s
Po


or
in


fra
st


ru
ct


ur
e


A
cc


es
s


to
e


xt
er


na
l m


ar
ke


ts
S


ki
lls


a
va


ila
bi


lit
y


La
bo


ur
c


os
ts


G
en


er
al


p
ol


ic
y


en
vi


ro
nm


en
t


A
cc


es
s


to
fi


na
nc


e
C


or
ru


pt
io


n


S
ec


ur
ity


R
oa


d
tra


ns
po


rt
ne


tw
or


ks


C
os


t e
nv


iro
nm


en
t


6.0 3.5 2.5 5.5 9.0 9.0 4.5 5.0 6.5 5.5 6.5 6.5 6.5


Nigeria (oil) Zambia (copper) Ghana (gold)


Deep linkages and upgrading


• Buyer cooperation
• Local content policy
• CSFs: trust, lead times
• Constraints: poor infrastructure,


safety, corruption


Strong local content policies


Broad but shallow linkages and no
real upgrading


• Buyer cooperation varies
• Employment linkages are more


important
• CSFs: trust, lead times, price,


consistency
• Constraints: skills, finance,


infrastructure


No policy framework


Growing linkages, but from a low
basis


• Buyer cooperation
• Skills development
• CSFs: quality, technical


standards, innovation
• Constraints: infrastructure,


finance, corruption


New local content policy


tAble 5.12: summAry cOmpArisOn: nigeriA, zAmbiA And ghAnA




Economic Report on Africa 2013


220


Total income of the mining industry (after
depreciation and impairments) were R447 billion
in 2011, and total expenditures (on the same
basis) came to R437 billion. Purchasing and


operating costs account for the largest share
of income, followed by labour costs and capital
spending (figure 5.24).


5.7 sOuth AfricA’s mining supply
industry


Features


Mining plays a major role in South African
history and economic performance, including
industrialization (figure 5.23). In the second


quarter of 2012, for example, mining and quarrying
contributed R 66 billion to nominal GDP, which
stood at R 768 billion, or a little more than 8 per
cent (Statistics South Africa, 2011). The mining
industry’s own assessment (including the induced
impact on other sectors) is close to 19 per cent
of GDP, and a little more than16 per cent of total
formal sector employment (CMSA, 2012).


figure 5.23: linkAges frOm sOuth AfricA’s mining sectOr tO the rest Of the
ecOnOmy


first round impact:
• GDP R59 billion or


2.3%
• Jobs ~200 000


indirect impact:
• GDP R42.7 billion


or 1.7%
• Jobs ~150 000


mining’s direct contribution:
• GDP R230 billion or 9% of GDP
• Jobs 514 760


the induced contribution:
• GDP R136.1 billion or 5.4% of GDP
• Jobs ~490 000


the total contribution of mining to the economy:
• GDP R468 billion or 18.7% of GDP
• Jobs ~1.353.383 (16.2% of total employment)


Source: Quantec and IDC, 2010 data, retrieved from www.quantec.co.za/data (accessed 20 November 2012).


The linkages of mining to the economy




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


221


Although no precise data are available, a very
large share of spending is local—of the R437
billion, an estimated 89 per cent in the country.
This is why mining has such a big impact on
the rest of the national economy—the money
from mining circulates throughout the economy,
affecting sectors as diverse as financial services
and housing. Some of the spending goes towards
importing equipment (such as drag-lines) that
is not made in South Africa but that helps to
improve mining’s capital stock and the economy’s
productive base.


The export performance of the mining equipment
and specialist services sector is indicative of its
global position. Using the classification of the
South African Capital Equipment Export Council
(SACEEC), mining equipment is one of South
Africa’s largest exports, constituting 8.5 per cent
of the total in 2005–2009 and 55 per cent of
capital equipment exports. South Africa’s global
export share of the SACEEC categories over
the same period averaged 0.9 per cent, which
compares with South Africa’s share of all global
exports of 0.4 per cent. The revealed comparative
advantage for mining equipment is therefore 2.25
(0.9/0.4), which is substantial.


Exports of mining equipment were put at R29 billion
in 2011, having increased by 20 per cent from the
previous year (SACEEC). To this figure one should
add around a third, representing exports of specialist
mining services in areas such as geology, exploration,
mining and refining.


The local content of exports of mining equipment
and specialist services is very high—estimated at 90
per cent—largely explained by the country’s dense
network of supplier industries and the raw materials
and skills required. In terms of manufacturing value
added, these exports are particularly significant.
Furthermore, this industry does not enjoy tariff
protection (with few exceptions), nor does it receive
much in the way of government subsidies. In short, it
is an internationally competitive industry.


South Africa has a strong trade surplus in mining
equipment with the rest of Africa (table 5.13). The
share of Africa (excluding North Africa) in mining
exports has risen in recent years, improving the
overall trade balance, although the fastest-growing
market for South African mining equipment is Latin
America, according to the SACEEC. Latin America
has many new mining projects, and South African
exporters have a strong presence there.


figure 5.24: sOuth AfricA’s mining sectOr expenditure, 2011 (rAnd)


Source: Statistics South Africa (2011).


Purchases & operating costs
(steel, timber, electricity,


rail, etc.), R251bn


Interest paid, R17bn


Labour costs, R89bn


Capital expenditure, R47 bn


Taxation, R26bn


Dividends to shareholders R13bn




Economic Report on Africa 2013


222


2005 2006 2007 2008 2009


With the world


Exports 3,292 4,722 6,201 6,743 4,130


Imports 3,174 4,286 5,988 6,175 3,669


Surplus 119 436 213 568 461


With Africa(excluding North Africa)


Exports 787 1,026 1,494 1,936 1,543


Imports 11 13 15 24 32


Share of total exports
(%)


24 22 24 29 37


tAble 5.13: sOuth AfricA’s trAde in mining equipment, 2005–2009 ($ milliOn)


Source: UN Comtrade, retrieved from http://comtrade.un.org/(accessed through the World Integrated Trade Solutions, 25 February 2011).


Before 1994, South African mining houses were
very largely domestically focused, but the ending
of apartheid allowed them to greatly expand
operations abroad, a trend generally accelerating
as they find that investments abroad are more
attractive than those in South Africa.


It is important to analyse how much this expansion
abroad boosts exports of South African mining
equipment and specialist services—in other words,
whether South African mining houses “take with
them” South African suppliers. Interviews with
mining houses and key suppliers provided differing
perspectives as to whether locally known and
trusted suppliers were at a competitive advantage.


The overall assessment was that this was a
factor, but only to a limited extent. Most of the
work is done on an open tender basis and, while
knowledge and trust of local suppliers are of some
consequence, tendering is highly competitive.
The view of a major mining house is probably
representative: “Almost all that we procure is on
open tender. Sole source is a real exception. Trust
is some advantage. It may also bring synergies
with existent businesses. The South African
supplier advantage is there, but it is on the
margin.”


A key marketing issue is that, once a product has
been tried and tested and seen to work in South
African conditions, it is recognized that it will work


anywhere. South African mining houses are known
to be very sophisticated and knowledgeable on
what is available, and so firms that succeed with
them and in South African conditions have the
capacity and “pedigree” to succeed in global
markets.


When operating abroad, mining houses and
suppliers use very little local input, unless domestic
supply firms are highly capable. Local sourcing
is usually confined to labour and basic goods.
There is no hostility on the part of South African
mining firms to procuring products and services
locally, indeed this is seen as advantageous,
saving logistical costs and reducing delays and
uncertainties. However, local procurement needs
to be cost effective and reliable. The mining
industry is also becoming more willing to procure
locally, if this happens within a framework of
economic sustainability and partnership with other
stakeholders.


A regional hub


South Africa’s role as a regional hub in the mining
industry deserves particular attention. A first
dimension is that some multinational firms use
South Africa as a base from which they service and
adapt their offerings to the rest of Africa. This was
seen in interviews with some of the Scandinavian
(Finnish and Swedish) companies. They have large
operations in South Africa—among the largest of




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


223


their operations outside their home country.


What attracts these firms to South Africa is large
domestic demand for their products, a very dense
network of competent supply industries and high-
level skills, more especially experiential skills. South
Africa is a regional hub for TNC mining companies
that service and support continental operations,
although some mining companies are said to have
moved their research outside South Africa.


A second dimension is that some firms there
provide a full-scale service in mining engineering,
procurement and construction management. These
firms can undertake the full gamut of tasks to bring
a mine into operation, providing turnkey solutions
from exploration to a working mining operation.
They also undertake contract mining.


These firms are important to the industry
because they provide a market for other local
input providers. In an industry where trust is
some advantage and with much tacit knowledge,
experience with trusted suppliers is also very
important. These firms are in a highly competitive
market with global players (generally much larger
players) and there is little room for any “local
charity.” So, domestic firms have to meet the
requirements and have to be cost effective. This
use of local inputs is also encouraged by domestic
policy. Where South African firms get export credit
finance, they must use at least 65 per cent local
product.


A third dimension is that mining projects are
administered and directed from South African
head offices.9 Sasol’s operation in Mozambique, for
example, produces liquid natural gas, which also
entails a plant to process and compress the gas
and pipe it to South Africa under a local company
manager for on-site operations, but with ultimate
control from South Africa.


Still, the advantages of directing global activities
from South Africa may be declining. This is partly
a function of a growing exposure to activities
abroad—South Africa tends to be a declining
share of group output. But it is also a function
of the greater perceived risks in South Africa
and declining relative advantages of support
infrastructure. On the latter, the infrastructure is
regarded as improving elsewhere (often from a low


base) whereas it is generally declining in South Africa.


The absence of government policy is also important.
South Africa is not positioning itself as a hub
and has no policies to encourage hub activity. By
contrast, Botswana and Mauritius provide incentives
for such activities and are very easy on work
permits for skilled persons.


Competitiveness issues and policy
implications


South African suppliers are global leaders in areas
such as washing spirals, underground locomotives,
submersible pumps, hydropower equipment and
mining fans. The country’s firms are also leaders in
a raft of mining services—prospecting; geological
services; shaft sinking and turnkey new mine
design and operation services, as well as many
others. They have a global competitive advantage in
the following four main areas.


Mine safety is particularly strong and growing very
fast. A third of members of the export council make
safety equipment or safety-oriented equipment.
This subsector includes many smaller companies,
and is a very dynamic product area with new-firm
entry and new products. Tracked mining—especially
rail-based track mining and the use of underground
locomotives—is dominated by one major company.
Another company is also active and has developed
fuel cell technology and associated products using
platinum. In the area of shaft sinking, especially
vertical shaft sinking, South Africa is the global
leader. This subsector is dominated by large
companies but there are many small companies
managed by larger companies headquartered
abroad. Finally, ventilation has been an area of
considerable expertise for a very long time with
a well-established society, journal and multiple
companies.


Development in these areas is strong and
considered much greater than in comparable mining
countries such as Chile or Australia, although at
least some of these areas have limited applicability
to Africa, which has very little deep mining. South
African capacity is generally well developed where
there is considerable local demand, but in oil and
gas, for example, the country has limited capacity
outside ancillary services such as environmental
evaluation and the generic construction and plant-




Economic Report on Africa 2013


224


maintenance skills of technicians, plumbers and
welders, etc.


Several factors contribute to South Africa’s
competitive advantage. The most important are
skills, especially experiential skills; well-established
companies with leading-edge products and
competencies; public research linked to firms;
highly sophisticated customers; well-developed
and dense networks of local supply industries and
services; and geographical clustering—mining
houses are clustered around Johannesburg, supply
industries around East Rand. However, some of
these advantages are declining or are not being
further developed.


There are skills shortages at every level, particularly
engineers and artisans, and many firms believe that
standards are declining. Publicly funded research
has fallen significantly. Mining and mining-related
activities are ignored in South Africa’s innovation
policies. There is less research in the universities
and declining links between firms and science
councils. Companies increasingly see their major
areas of operation outside the country, and regard
South Africa as a less attractive place from which to
direct and administer mining projects. The decline
of South African mining output and lack of new
investments is reducing the overall size, holding
back the technological advance for local suppliers.
Lastly, the sector is under increased competition
from China at the lower end, especially equipment
production, and from Australia at the upper end,
especially R&D. The result is growth well below
the optimum—although the industry is still very
technologically sophisticated with global reach and
high local content.


Mining equipment and specialist services have
not received any explicit government subsidy


at any stage in their development, although
mining supply firms benefit from government
programmes on loans, and support for studies
in SADC countries and Export Marketing and
Investment assistance. But some public support
remains highly problematic: beyond the need to
boost publicly funded R&D in research institutions
and universities, university training needs to be
expanded (particularly engineers) and weak
artisanal training improved and recognized in other
countries.


Addressing these problems is particularly urgent
in the light of growing manufacturing competition
(principally from East and South-east Asia) and
of rising knowledge and innovation competition
(mainly from Australia).


A further policy challenge is to support the spread
of mining-input technologies and companies into
non-mining products and markets (to some limited
extent this is already happening). Some firms fail to
see potential applications outside known areas and
customers. But the South African capital equipment
sector is highly organized with an active export
association, which lets the government investigate,
with the industry and association, how firms could
apply their technological capacities to new products
and new markets.


Precise policy modalities will differ, but South Africa
can learn from Finland’s experience (box 5.7). The
emphasis on diversification through promoting
linkages and spillovers between industries, a
systemic approach to an integrated industrial and
technology policy, and the development of policy in
close collaboration with firms, industry associations
and research bodies, provide a guideline for
encouraging the lateral movement of technological
competencies (Kaplan, 2012).


bOx 5.7: A nOrdic ApprOAch


Finland is a paradigmatic example of successful diversification from natural resource–based
industries. Its governments adopted a systems approach to industrial and technology policies,
emphasizing linkages and spillovers among industries, research organizations and universities.
They promoted knowledge production and formulated policy through public–private partnerships
involving economic research bodies, industry federations and firms (Dahlman et al., 2006).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


225


That firms who move into new areas take risks while
much of the benefit of success falls to follower firms
(second movers) constitutes a market failure, and
this potentially provides a space for public policy.


One possible direct mechanism to encourage the
spread of frontier technologies into new products
and markets would be a “challenge fund”, which
would support firms to use their mining-related
technological capacities in this way. The fund
would meet part of the costs incurred by the firm.
Qualifying items would be public goods such
as training and infrastructure. Applications for
support should be judged on competitiveness and
by an arm’s-length group composed principally
of business people with industry knowledge. Such
a fund could signal to firms the government’s
commitment to enhance new product and market
development.


5.8 cOnclusiOns


The case studies convey an important message for
any African country interested in developing linkage
industries: policies such as local content measures
can be successful in increasing the breadth of
backward linkages—the range of goods and services
sourced locally by mining and oil companies.
However, to increase the depth of such linkages—
the value added of local activities—measures are


essential to target skills development, technological
capabilities, access to capital and so forth. Buyer–
supplier cooperation is also critical at every stage of
the value chain.


The same holds for forward linkage policies, such as
export taxes or incentives to processing industries.
These need to be supported by complementary
policies targeting competencies of processing
industries and of local suppliers.


If governments wish to embed linkages by promoting
domestic ownership of the targeted supply or
processing firm, the focus of policy should still be on
increasing local value-added activities, as these have
the most potential to create positive spillovers and to
build firms’ competencies in new areas.


When backward and forward linkages have
been developed successfully, government
effort is required to maintain the international
competitiveness of local industries. Local upgrading
is a continuous process. Industrial policies, ideally
coordinated with other sectoral policies, should
identify competitiveness bottlenecks in the local
value chain, and address them.


When backward and forward
linkages have been developed
successfully, government effort is
required to maintain the international
competitiveness of local industries.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


226


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nOtes


1 Qualifying Industrial Zones are designated geographical areas in Egypt that enjoy duty-free status with the US.
Companies in such zones are granted quota- and duty-free access to the US, provided that they satisfy predefined
rules of origin, that is, 35 per cent of the commodity is manufactured in a qualifying zone, and a minimum of 10.5 per
cent of the product is from Israeli inputs.


2 Clothing exports from Egypt to the US through the Qualifying Industrial Zone increased from $288.3 million in
2005 to $924.1 million by December 2011.


3 Such as Walmart Ethical Standard, Kohl’s Terms of Engagement, Target Standard for Vendor Engagement, SEARS
Code of Vendor Conduct and the Disney Code of Conduct for Manufacturers.


4 In which cotton lint is transformed into fabrics.


5 “Ethiopian Leather,” Light Years IP, retrieved from www.lightyearsip.net/scopingstudy/ethiopian_leather.aspx
(accessed 15 November 2012).


6 Including Chambishi Copper Smelter, acid plants, as well as a copper semi-fabricates manufacturing plant.


7 The International Finance Corporation Suppliers’ Development Programme was relatively well observed.


8 The country also commercially exploits diamonds, manganese, bauxite and aluminium.


9 These activities often also include financial and business services.






6




Making the Most of Policy Linkages in
Commodities6




THE BIG DIFFERENCES IN SOFT, HARD AND ENERGY COMMODITY
SECTORS AFFECT HOW LINKAGES DEVELOP


COMMODITIES SPAN HIGH- AND LOW-TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRIES, LARGE AND
SMALL ENTERPRISES, AND CAPITAL- AND LABOUR-INTENSIVE SECTORS. THEY ALSO
DEPEND ON DIFFERENT TYPES OF INFRASTRUCTURE.


Most soft commodities have little technological content, lend themselves to small
production, are labour intensive, require diffused infrastructure and rarely stay fresh in


their natural state, requiring early processing.


To deepen local linkages, measures to target
skills development, technological capabilities,


and access to capital are essential.


LINKAGE
DEVELOPMENT


S
KI


LLS
AND CAPAB


IL ITIES


CAPITAL




INFRASTRUCTURE BUILT AROUND HARD-COMMODITIES
CAN BE USED FOR DEVELOPING OTHER SECTORS.


RESOURCES Most hard commodities involve large and
capital-intensive production and embody


more complex technologies. They are
durable and require intensive, large


infrastructure (such as roads, rail and
harbours) to get to market.


GLOBAL, REGIONAL AND
DOMESTIC MARKETSSUPPORT AND


INVESTMENT


INVESTMENT IN
TECHNOLOGY,


RESEARCH AND
DEVELOPMENT


AND SKILLS


IN


NO
VATION


FINDING INTERNATIONAL BUYERS IS CRUCIAL …


… AND THEN STAYING IN GVCS NEEDS SYSTEMATIC INVESTMENT AND SUPPORT


ALL LINKS IN THE
GVC REqUIRE
SUPPORT TO
UPGRADE


Regional markets may offer more
opportunities than traditional markets


Trade agreements are
important for new markets


TRADE
AGREEMENTS




Economic Report on Africa 2013


234


The earlier chapters suggest that backward and forward linkages are developing in the soft, hard and energy commodity sectors in some African
countries. The depth of linkages (the accretion of
local value added) varies more by country than the
breadth (the share of local spending).


Some summary conclusions on value chain
linkages and drivers of commodity linkages can
be drawn to provide an evidence base for this
chapter’s policy recommendations. The aim is
not to detail individual value-chain or country
issues, but to present cross-cutting conclusions
and recommendations as foundations for
ministries to apply to their own economic reality.
The recommendations are set out in a nine-part
policy framework (rather than in a long wish list of
policies that may not apply to a given country or
value chain). This approach allows policymakers
to use the policy framework to generate more
detailed strategic mechanisms appropriate to their
own country’s conditions. But first, the summary
conclusions.


6.1 summAry cOnclusiOns


The big differences in soft, hard and energy
commodity sectors affect how linkages
develop


The commodities span high- and low-technology
industries, large and small enterprises, and capital-
and labour-intensive sectors. They also depend on
different types of infrastructure. Some commodities
also differ in their shelf lives. Most soft
commodities, for example, have low technological


content, lend themselves to small production, are
labour intensive, require diffused infrastructure,
and rarely stay fresh in their natural state, requiring
early processing.


Most hard commodities by contrast involve large
and capital-intensive production and embody
more complex technologies (although small-
scale artisanal mining is fairly widespread). They
are durable and require intensive use of large
infrastructure (such as roads, rail and harbours) to
get to market. This infrastructure can be used for
developing other sectors.


For their part, energy commodities are generally
very technology, scale and capital intensive and
require infrastructure that is less useful to other
sectors.


finding internAtiOnAl buyers is
cruciAl …


Searching for buyers is costly for any firm, but
is critical for a firm to join a global value chain
(GVC). In some countries this insertion is based on
relationships built over many decades—building
linkages is neither easy nor quick. Local firms
attempting to move into higher value added
products need government support, especially
as those firms that succeed can then provide
information and channels for other domestic firms.
Government support is critical in view of the political
and economic factors that determine the conditions
under which local firms are inserted in a GVC, the
distribution of benefits along the value chain as well
as resolution of trade policy issues (box 6.1).


bOx 6.1: pOliticAl ecOnOmy tensiOns frOm gvcs


Policymakers need to resolve underlying political economy stresses as they decide how their
countries will benefit from GVCs. Transnational corporations (TNCs)—the lead firms—are at the
forefront of advocating for deeper GVCs, premising their policy advocacy that GVCs are good
for growth and development. But the TNCs do not address the issue of how the value along the
chain should be shared (and this is where the policymakers come in).


Another anxiety comes from jobs. Some citizens in countries where TNCs are headquartered
perceive GVCs as job destroyers—for their countries—rather than job creators.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


235


Yet the most critical tension relates to multilateral trading rules. As discussed in chapter 2,
the Doha Round has made little progress, and moves to liberalize non-agricultural goods
and services are two areas with divergent views not only between developed and developing
countries but even among developing countries. There are those, including the African Group,
who argue that these chains are being promoted, mainly by industrial countries, as an indirect
route to more deeply liberalizing trade in industrial goods (as well as services). For GVCs to be
efficient, any barriers along the chain must be eliminated. This means that an export tax, for
instance cannot be employed as a negative subsidy, neither can an import tariff be higher in say
a given developing country, for as long as the export tax or the import tariff relate to a given GVC.


… and then staying in GVCs needs systematic
investment and support


Once firms are in the GVC they are subject to
very demanding market requirements. Lead firms
require their suppliers to be globally competitive
on critical success factors (CSFs) such as price,
quality, delivery times and innovation for these
companies to ward off other competitors seeking
to become GVC suppliers. Firms in these value
chains also have to meet technical, private,
health and environmental standards set by global
governance regulators.


Linkage development is thus a progressive
and cumulative process, one that requires
continuous investment in technology, research
and development (R&D) and skills, to help firms
upgrade their capabilities. This requires assistance
from three sources—the lead firms, domestic skills
training bodies and local innovation institutions.


All links in the value chain require support to
upgrade


This may require trade-offs between various links.
For example, adding value in agro-processing and
making the most of soft-commodity endowments
through building forward linkages has its own
specific issues and constraints. Output from food
commodity sectors can vary enormously in terms of
meeting quality, price and technical specifications.
These all relate back to the first stage of
agricultural production where productivity, skills and
technological capabilities have a critical impact on
the volume, quality and price of inputs supplied to
the processing industries. Failure to tackle these


issues through appropriate policies and strategic
interventions severely constrains attempts to add
value in the agro-processing stage and to shift the
focal point of local industrialization.


Regional markets may offer more
opportunities than traditional markets


Africa’s markets may be less demanding than
GVCs, allowing local firms to build the production
capabilities needed to move into more demanding
chains. Regional markets are particularly important
for countries without large domestic markets, which
underlines the importance of streamlining regional
integration in Africa. Some GVCs of course offer
more opportunities than others for intraregional
trade, notably agro-processing chains, because
Africa is fairly rich in supplies and their products
tap into final markets among the continent’s rising
middle class.


Trade agreements are important for new
markets and products


African countries could improve market access for
their value-added products through agreements
with traditional and emerging partners. Their
strategy should aim to reduce high tariffs
(on cocoa to India for example), remove tariff
escalation (in the EU for instance) and remove
non-tariff barriers. Tariffs have generally declined,
but while several proposals were made to
overcome tariff escalation, non-tariff barriers
(especially technical barriers for manufactures)
have escalated. For example, non-tariff barrier
proposals have recently been made in the non-
agricultural market access negotiations by several




Economic Report on Africa 2013


236


economies including the EU, US, Argentina, China,
Cuba and Japan. African countries therefore
need to adopt a unified continental negotiation
framework to maximize the development impact
of economic and trade agreements.


6.2 fActOrs driving lOcAl linkAges


The unevenness of backward and forward linkage
development is a function of two primary sets of
linkage drivers—structural and country specific—in


a distinction that has major implications for policy
(Morris et al., 2012).


Structural drivers refer to the age of the
commodity-exploiting sector and sectoral factors
such as the requirement for just-in-time and
flexible logistics, the type of individual commodity
deposits, and the technological complexity of the
sector. By their nature these structural drivers are
hard for policy interventions to influence. Country-
specific drivers refer to more contingent factors
that are dependent on national contexts, and are
much easier to influence by policy (box 6.2).


bOx 6.2: cOuntry-specific linkAge drivers


Examples of these contingent drivers are:


• The nationality of the lead commodity firms, and their approach to developing linkages.


• The end markets and their CSF requirements.


• The nature and quality of hard and soft infrastructure (including poor access to credit
institutions), which help (or hinder) linkage development.


• Skills and institutional capabilities, at firm and country level.


• Social and political factors, such as corruption and security.


• Government policies and effectiveness of implementation.


In other words, policymakers must analyse how
multiple factors influence the economic terrain of
each country. A country-specific industrialization
strategy to facilitate local production linkages
would depend on the sector, commodity
characteristics (linkage possibilities vary),
characteristics of particular value chains, CSFs
in different value chains, firms’ and institutions’
capabilities, stakeholders, and state capacity to
make the necessary institutional arrangements.


As country-specific drivers are more easily open
to influence from industrial policy measures,
they are the areas that policymakers should
focus on.


Policymakers cannot, however, make simple,
generic solutions for CSFs, which differ widely
by country, sector and value chain (figures 6.1
and 6.2) and which have no easily identifiable
uniformity.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


237


figure 6.1: vAriAtiOn Of fActOrs Afecting linkAge develOpment by sectOr
And cOuntry


Source: Firm surveys in chapters 4 and 5.


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm


Cost environment


Quality of inputs


Import tariffs on
imported goods


Poor infrastructure


Road transport
networks


Access to external
markets


Skills availability


Labour costs


General policy
environment


Access to finance


Corruption


Security


Availability of inputs


6.0


5.4


7.4


6.6


8.4


8.4


8.4


1.6


6.2


6.2


9.0


6.6


7.6


Nigeria
Cocoa


5.3


6.0


5.0


7.3


7.8


9.3


7.5


5.7


2.7


4.7


4.3


7.7


9.0


Nigeria
Oil


6.0


4.6


4.3


4.5


4.8


6.3


6.3


6.5


7.3


7.3


7.3


8.0


7.8


Egypt
Textile


7.3


7.5


4.0


8.3


7.3


6.0


3.5


2.0


3.8


3.3


6.5


5.0


3.8


Kenya
Tea


6.3


6.3


1.8


6.5


8.3


6.5


1.5


3.0


3.3


3.3


7.5


4.0


4.5


Kenya
Vegetable


6.4


6.4


6.1


2.8


3.2


4.0


2.2


6.2


3.0


6.1


1.6


4.9


1.6


Ethiopia
Coffee


9.0


8.3


6.3


3.0


5.3


4.0


2.8


3.9


4.3


2.5


6.0


4.3


1.0


Ethiopia
Leather


7.3


3.8


3.3


1.3


8.3


4.5


4.8


3.8


6.0


4.0


8.3


6.5


4.3


Ghana
Cocoa


6.0


6.3


4.7


4.3


6.3


4.7


7.0


8.3


6.0


3.8


Cameroon
Cocoa


6.0


3.5


2.5


5.5


9.0


9.0


4.5


5.0


6.5


5.5


5.5


6.5


6.5


Ghana
Gold




Economic Report on Africa 2013


238


Ethiopia
Leather


Ghana
Cocoa


Egypt
Textile


Kenya
Tea


Ethiopia
Coffee


Kenya
Vegetable


Nigeria
Cocoa


Price competitiveness


Lead times


Trust


Good quality


Flexible production system


Learning/ innovation


Source: Firm surveys in chapters 4 and 5.


7.0 8.7 9.0 7.5 8.8 8.5 9.2


9.2 9.7 9.3 10 9.0 9.3 8.8


6.4 7.7 8.3 10 9.0 6.8 7.0


9.0 8.0 7.8 9.5 9.6 8.5 7.2


6.6 7.0 8.5 7.5 7.6 6.8 6.6


9.2 9.3 8.5 7.8 9.8 7.5 8.8


figure 6.2: vAriAtiOn Of csfs by sectOr And vAlue chAin


Medium
importance
(4.1-6.0)


Medium-high
importance
(6.1-8.0)


High importance
(8.1-10)


Unimportant/
very low
importance
(0-2)


Low importance
(2.1-4.0)



0 2 4 6 8 10


Scale: 1 pt = 1 mm


These figures underline the fact that a “one
size fits all” approach would be a mistake.
Instead, policymakers need to push through
with policies on the basis of evidence for their
country, and the sector and value chain under
consideration. Policies will also require focused
and institutionally grounded implementation
strategies, with responsibilities clearly
demarcated. And they need to be listed by
priority so as to avoid politically driven non-
implementable wish lists—given that in the real
world, policy decisions revolve around trade-
offs and resource availability. Policies must also
be backed by transparent budgets to ensure
that resources are available and results are
achievable. Finally, national governments should


take into account that some steps are better
carried out at lower tiers, such as state, provincial
or local government, to ensure the necessary
institutional intimacy and knowledge-flows
between civil servants and firms.


Lead commodity firms are the major drivers
of GVCs and hence of linkage development.
Many lead firms have structured programmes
for supplier development in their global
operations. These lead commodity firms embody
routines for supply chain development, which
hold considerable potential for local linkage
development, given appropriate government
policy interventions (Morris et al., 2012).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


239


Moreover, foreign-owned lead firms, with roots in
the economies of the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development, are vulnerable to
pressures from civil society organizations in their
home countries as well as from local communities
in the host country to foster local industrialization,
and so can be pressured by host governments to
help develop local linkages.


The governance environment and engagement of
local communities living near lead firms’ commodity
production can play a key role in enhancing local
linkage development. Often this is played out in
corporate social responsibility projects to ensure
buy-in from local communities. In addition, many lead
commodity firms have signed—often independently
monitored—agreements with governments, designed
to enhance local procurement. National governments
must, though, use the opportunities available in their
policy armoury.


This pattern of supply chain development is,
however, less evident in new entrants from China. A
number of African countries have had considerable
success in negotiating bilateral agreements with
China on infrastructure construction, industrial
training, and supplier development, all of which
are conducive to local linkages (although
implementation is not always in line with the
agreements—this ultimately is an issue for the local
state).


Hard infrastructure is a significant country-specific
driver: poor transport undermines the capacity of
local suppliers to feed into value chains; power
utility breakdowns short-circuit operational
efficiency and increase costs; and slow telecoms
stop local firms from taking advantage of the
rapid communication that is necessary to access
knowledge-intensive markets. The lead firms have
some capacity to cover their own infrastructure
needs and to solve their own problems, but less so
their suppliers’.


The upshot is that, although lead commodity
producers may wish to increase outsourcing, weak
infrastructure forces them to either internalize
these non-core value-added activities or import
from stable foreign suppliers. Logistical efficiency
also has a bearing on linkage development, as does
soft infrastructure such as business support and
trade facilitation.


Solid human resources are a precondition for
building linkages. The skill and capability constraint
in Africa is a critical determinant of linkages
both by lead firms and their suppliers and
downstream firms. The main gaps are usually
in vocational areas (welders, fitters and turners,
drivers of specialist equipment), more advanced
engineering skills, and management skills for
world-class manufacturing techniques. Although
African governments recognize this skills gap,
their ability to launch institutionally driven
programmes to upgrade suppliers, processors
and manufacturers is severely limited. Nearly
all African countries depend on international
bodies and programmes to build capabilities.
As countries attempt to move up the value
chain—especially for inputs to the lead commodity
producers—demand for skills will necessarily
increase. Any successful industrial development
process will therefore soon encounter the binding
constraint of skills development.


Three broad, overlapping strands are apparent on
how African governments view the promotion of
linkages from commodities. Many governments
express a stated wish to make the most of
commodities through linkages but show little
strategic thinking beyond that. Others articulate
a vision but they interpret “localization” as greater
participation by citizens as owners rather than as a
deepening of domestic value added.


Only a few put forward some sort of coherent
vision, yet because most policies that exist only on
paper are very poorly implemented, it is precisely
these markers of progress that are needed to turn
vision to reality—they should include timetables and
benchmarks, positive and negative sanctions, inter-
ministerial coherence, human resource capacity
and political will.


6.3 A pOlicy frAmewOrk


The ultimate goal of the following nine-point
policy framework is to avoid a commodity linkage
template, but to help African governments
in developing policies and implementation
mechanisms to drive their own commodity-based
industrialization. A more specific objective is to
accelerate the broadening and deepening of
production linkages to the particular commodity
endowments of each African country—as




Economic Report on Africa 2013


240


bOx 6.3: influencing the trAjectOry Of lOcAl supply


Below are three families of industrial policy interventions to boost local linkages, depending on
the ease with which linkages can be developed (box figure).


Low-hanging fruit


The first set of interventions aims to gather the “low-hanging fruit,” where domestic capabilities
are such that local firms can produce competitively, and these linkages provide short-term
returns to major commodity firms.


Capabilities may be among labour-intensive sectors where low wages are a competitive
advantage, or in sectors with high natural protection. (This protection may reflect sectors with
rapid degradation of the product, where there is extensive processing loss and where transport-
to-value ratios are high.) Suppliers can produce high-quality products reliably at prices that are
near the global price frontier.


The priority focus in the short term should be on these low-hanging (or easily graspable)
linkages. Examples are capable and competitive local suppliers whose existence is unknown to
lead commodity buyers because their purchasing eyes are locked on habitual imports from their
home country or other regular suppliers from other countries.


This may simply be an information problem and require buyers to be given information to help
match them with potential suppliers. Or it may require government and service institutions to
target support at local suppliers to reach the frontier of a buyer’s CSF. Lead commodity chief
executives, governments and local industry associations can play a critical role here.


Blossoms


Next are linkages where embryonic capabilities exist and where there is some prospect, with
reasonable time-bound support, that local producers will “blossom” and be able to compete with
foreign producers in the medium term. The primary barrier is technological, and hence various
forms of government innovation and skill-enhancing support are a priority.


discussed in chapter 3—and hence to shift the
industrialization curve to the left (see figure 3.5).


1. Adopting a coherent industrial policy


Many high-income countries started
industrializing on the basis of their natural
resources, gradually developing backward and
forward linkages—“one thing leads to another,”
per Hirschman (1981). So, the process can be
left to the market and the vagaries of time, but
for these precursors it was slow and the results
hit and miss, and for Africa today the process
may (or may not) broaden and deepen linkages


over long decades of commodity extraction
(Morris et al., 2012).


So to speed up and deepen the process of
value addition and linkage development, African
governments need to respond strategically—
working closely with other stakeholders—through
formulating and implementing industrial policy
along the priorities of the Accelerated Industrial
Development of Africa (AIDA) Action Plan (see
chapter 3). Three broad families of linkage
development, where governments can hope to
influence the trajectory of local supply, may be
identified (box 6.3).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


241


Another obstacle is where inputs are critical to the lead firms, such as the refluting of rollers
and grinders in the Zambian copper mine production chain. The various country case studies
identified the existence of local suppliers who, with some assistance, could rapidly escalate their
competitiveness and meet the CSF market requirements of lead commodity firms. Development
of local capabilities needs to be approached with realistic and appropriate time frames.


Seedlings


The final area consists of high profile linkages that are beyond feasible reach in the short to
medium term. These linkages are ambitious “seedlings,” which government can aim at in the long
term. Indeed, those linkages seemingly beyond feasible reach should only be considered as part
of innovative long-term industrial strategies with strong R&D support that can help break new
ground. Several resource-poor countries such as Japan and Singapore provide good lessons
on how well-designed industrial strategies can help such countries to develop industries and
products, especially the cars and electronics that were beyond feasible reach at one point.


bOx figure trAjectOry Of lOcAl supply


Complexity/Time/Scale


Global best price


C
os


t o
f s


up
pl


y
(e


.g
.


pr
ic


e,
qu


al
ity


, d
el


iv
er


y)


Moving Frontier of Global best practice


Seedlings
Blossoms


Source: Morris et al. (2012).


Low hanging fruit


Some recommendations include:


• Design policies to grasp the low-hanging
fruit. They may often combine very simple
inputs (food, water and accommodation for
workers) and more technology- and scale-
intensive inputs.


• For embryonic linkages, develop targeted
interventions that enable local producers to
compete gradually with foreign producers.
Many interventions are likely to be on


building the national system of innovation,
enhancing management capabilities,
upgrading workforce skills and focusing on
very specific and realistic technology/R&D
support activities.


• Give priority to linkages that are within easy
grasp or that require embryonic capabilities,
policy for linkages beyond feasible reach
should focus on long-term R&D that can help
countries break new ground and develop new
products.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


242


bOx 6.4: the gAp between rhetOric And perfOrmAnce


This gap arises from three misalignments. The pervasive failure of governments, lead-commodity
firms and other actors in the commodity value chain to work with suppliers and processors is
perhaps the most important.


Next, within value chains, lead firms often fail to back up their strategic commitment to
broadening and deepening linkages with appropriate structures. With a mine, for example,
the potential for misalignment starts early in commissioning and construction where site
procurement managers establish sourcing patterns based on what they regarded as best
practice (what is familiar to them) from their past activities.


A final, but similar, misalignment is between governments’ stated objectives on linkage
development and the institutions and structures to promote it. For example, support is often the
duty of the ministry that oversees commodities rather than where it belongs—with the ministry
responsible for developing industry and services related to commodities.


Governments do not have all the answers—and
have to learn. Hence their “leadership” entails
not directing the participants but brokering
meetings and ensuring that sectional interests
are redirected to the collective good. They
therefore need an informed picture of the
strengths and vulnerabilities of the major lead
commodity firms in the sector. Such knowledge
will enable them to make sure that these firms
actively promote local linkages, and encourage
other local and foreign investors to broaden and
deepen their forward and backward linkages.


Although these coalitions will inevitably
reflect country context (the characteristics
of the sector and the existing value chains),
they should include all the main corporate
participants (the dominant lead commodity
firms, first-tier and some second-tier suppliers),
governments, and (if possible without being
overloaded) representatives of research and
innovation institutions.


Experts and specialist service providers within
an industry are likely to have insights into what
is required and may be particularly helpful in
designing and implementing policies.


Such multi-stakeholder coalitions are important
for three reasons. First, each party has specific
knowledge that it can contribute. Second, they
will create an institutional dynamic, build public
awareness and a “moral momentum” among private
actors, especially lead commodity firms, focusing
attention on the importance of local sourcing, local
processing and general linkage development. Third,
because successful implementation requires key
stakeholders to take part, they are better involved
in developing the linkage strategy.


Some recommendations include:


• Set up a multi-stakeholder institutional council
focused on developing linkages to the commodity
sector, led by the most appropriate government
department (usually the ministry of industry).


2. Creating institutional industrial policy
mechanisms


Best-practice industrial policy, and the
mechanisms to effectively implement it, are
usually country specific and optimally produced


when governments work with key producer
stakeholders—lead commodity producers and
local suppliers. Such partnerships are all the more
necessary because of the pervasive misalignment
between policy and implementation that often
occurs in developing countries (box 6.4).




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


243


• Charge the council with developing a joint,
strategic vision for industrialization, garnering
the most reliable and important information, and
developing under its supervision an appropriate
step-by-step linkage strategy specifying activities,
outputs, responsibilities and milestones.


• Commission the council to oversee consultancy
research and strategy development plans.


3. Developing local content policy


Local content policies have probably been the
single most important policy driver of linkages from
the commodity sector. World Trade Organization
rules provide some legal leeway to least-developed
economies—and many countries find real-life
mechanisms to implement such policies.


It is crucial for such policies to be evidence based
and well informed rather than ideologically driven.
Local content policies to promote domestic
value added have often in Africa been conflated
with indigenization policies designed to transfer
ownership of linkage firms, confusing two issues.
The first is the need to expand local value added
economic activities, and this may require attracting
foreign investment, skills and technologies. The
second, equally important, is to develop domestic
entrepreneurship—including recognizing specific
constraints that women face—and to facilitate its
access to value chains. This latter goal requires
instruments that range from access to capital to
programmes that develop small and medium-sized
enterprises.


Any local content policy should be based on the
following principles: first, work with the private
sector; second, engage the major commodity firms
to voluntarily facilitate local sourcing; third, when
necessary, use regulations to compel them to
increase the breadth and depth of linkages; and
finally, ensure that industrial policy has detailed
step-by-step implementation measures, including
monitoring and evaluation as well as sanctions.


Critical for developing domestic entrepreneurship
is to provide access to finance, especially for firms
willing to undertake the risks involved in moving
beyond importing into more knowledge- and
capital-intensive activities. Concessionary finance
should therefore be part of any local content policy.


Some recommendations include:


• Ensure that local content policies are
concerned with adding value locally rather than
satisfying sectional political interest groups.


• Make sure that local content policies address
inequality—including gender inequality—in the
participation and benefit from the value, rather
than perpetuating them.


• Facilitate access to finance by local women
entrepreneurs.


• Identify, specify and favour subsectors that are
embryonic or within easy grasp rather than
beyond feasible reach.


• Remove red tape on local businesses and
streamline regulations to allow new enterprises
to set up.


• Ensure that policies aimed at building local
content are supported by access to suitable
concessionary finance through development
finance institutions.


4. Raising lead-firm procurement, sourcing and
processing


Major commodity firms have the potential to deliver
a major impact on local (backward and forward)
production linkages. They also have a major
responsibility to facilitate them, but even though
it is in their interest to procure locally, foster local
sourcing and develop local linkages, they rarely
see these steps as part of their core business.
Procurement managers, struggling to meet
externally imposed targets, are often driven by other
factors than finding competent local firms to source
from. Unless managers receive direction from the
top, they will follow sourcing patterns that are most
familiar to them. Governments can, though, play a
persuasive and regulatory role in ensuring that lead
commodity firms facilitate local sourcing.


Some recommendations include:


• Engage with major commodity firms’ chief
executives to ensure that they develop and
publicize a strategic vision committing their
company to developing local linkages.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


244


• Require foreign lead firms to report on local
sourcing by number of such enterprises, and
the degree of local value added, including a
clear roll-out plan for future local sourcing.
Such a mechanism is likely to focus the minds
of their chief executives, engender a climate
of moral enforceability and help to encourage
local linkages.


• Require lead commodity firms to internalize
local procurement practices that should be
stipulated and institutionalized as a necessary
part of the activities of the company.


• Ensure that contracts with lead commodity
firms to extract minerals and energy do
not restrict local supply in favour of foreign
suppliers as part of any aid package.


5. Running supply-chain development
programmes among major commodity firms


It is in the interests of lead commodity firms to
outsource many of their supplies and services.
Some of them can only be imported but many
can be provided locally, and as time goes by, with
appropriate domestic policies, local provision can
widen greatly. Although lead assemblers in the
automotive industry have substantial resources to
assist component suppliers upgrade their operations
through internal supply-chain development
programmes, such practices are extremely rare in
energy, hard and soft commodity sectors. The lead
firms, especially in mining, have skills that are not
aligned to building such capabilities among their
suppliers. Some agro-processors such as Nestlé
have, though, brought in such skills and capabilities
to assist farmer-suppliers.


This creates a major policy gap between interests,
intentions, needs and supply-chain capabilities for
African governments to fill, in three main ways.
First, through a regulatory framework requiring
major commodity firms to have supply-chain
development reporting mechanisms, creating a
moral imperative for them to focus their attention
in this area. Second, public-private matching funds
to facilitate supply-chain development can make a
real impact on local firms’ upgrading. Third, private
specialist service providers can be encouraged
and even subsidized if the government formulates
sectoral implementation strategies.


Some recommendations include:


• Liaise with lead commodity firms through
industrial policy councils to set up customized
and appropriate supply chain development
programmes.


• Encourage and assist lead firms in soft
commodities to provide large and resource-
intensive interventions to expand and upgrade
agricultural producers, especially in outputs
meeting the necessary quality standards,
feeding into selected value chains.


• Focus on target niche markets and ensure
quality certification, whether environmental
sustainability, speciality products, Fair Trade
and so on.


• Set up public-private commodity funding
mechanisms to bring in private sector
service providers skilled in developing firms’
capabilities in backward and forward linkages.


6. Boosting local skills and technologies


Many potential local suppliers and processors are
well behind the international competition. They
lack adequate skills, technological capacities and
the supportive institutions that would enable
them to close the gap. Firms’ spending to close
the gap is often suboptimal, a result of extensive
market failure. Hence, public provision can
potentially play an important role in meeting these
market failures. Skill shortages in many African
countries represent often a binding constraint on
developing industrial linkages. Lack of sufficient
(and appropriate) skills hamstrings local suppliers
in upgrading competitiveness, meeting technical
requirements, innovating, or adopting world-
class manufacturing practices and customer
management programmes.


These capability gaps pervade all levels of
the local economy. Among managers these
gaps are often in operational and financial
skills, knowledge of world-class manufacturing
and manufacturing excellence, and specialist
technical and engineering capability. Gaps in
the general workforce refer to artisanal, basic
engineering, maintenance, machinist and
operator skills.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


245


Closing these gaps requires coordinated firm,
government and donor programmes to upgrade
training facilities. Suppliers are often caught in
a classic coordination problem—they cannot get
into supply chains until they exhibit the necessary
skills, technology and management capabilities,
but they have great difficulty in acquiring
these without being involved in supply chain
programmes.


Developing backward linkages to hard
commodities is particularly demanding of
technological capabilities, and so government
support is crucial. The case study on South
Africa highlights the importance of prioritizing
engineering, maintenance and technical skills
at all levels, as such skills are more easily
portable and play an important role in spinning
off horizontal linkages into other ancillary
linkage industries. Training programmes aimed
at building engineering capabilities at all levels
should be undertaken incrementally so as to
build and spread the general corpus of these
skills throughout the economy. The South African
case also demonstrates that even with very
high technological skills, declining investment in
education, research and specialist mining and
engineering institutions can lower a country’s
competitiveness. Building and maintaining these
skills requires a partnership between private
and public institutions, such as universities and
specialist research centres.


Some recommendations include:


• Create matching-grant programmes for skills
development and capability building that can
be accessed by local firms.


• Attract international agencies to run skills-
building programmes for local commodity firms.


• Create technical training institutions and
upgrade curricula to expand the number
of technical personnel, artisans and basic
maintenance workers, as well as general
engineering capabilities ranging from basic
maintenance to tertiary skills.


• Offer tax incentives towards promoting R&D
expenditures in the private sector. The structure
would be left to individual countries—whether


tax expenditures or allowable expenses. But
the targeted policy outcome would be for firms
to invest in R&D, including linking with local
academic and research institutions (including
polytechnics).


• Make it easier for firms to hire foreign workers
with scarce skills, following the examples of
Botswana and Mauritius.


7. Addressing infrastructure bottlenecks


The pervasive inadequacy of infrastructure
in Africa is a major constraint on industrial
development. It affects not only inter-country
infrastructure but also feeder roads between
agricultural producers and processing centres.
With electricity, water, telecoms, information
and communications technology and the like,
administered prices can hinder expansion of
services and affordability of access, undermining
the competitiveness—and thus sustainability—
of many businesses. Addressing this issue is
often the most important factor in aiding the
development of both the commodity sector itself
and its linkages.


Focusing on infrastructure development has
additional employment spin-offs for unskilled and
semi-skilled jobs as well as training those with
higher artisanal skills.


Some recommendations include:


• Avoid enclave infrastructure interventions
aimed only at satisfying commodity producers’
needs.


• Use commodity access to leverage
favourable financing of infrastructure
in bilateral agreements. In some cases
transnational corporations in extractive
industries can provide infrastructure for
their own purposes, which, with government
intervention, can be leveraged for use by
other enterprises. When the government
has financial resources, public-private
partnerships can be set up to abet
infrastructure provision.


• Make the regulatory framework effective,
efficient and business friendly.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


246


8. Coordinating ministries to improve policy
implementation


Value chains are cross-cutting; government
ministries are not. Ministries normally guard their
own mandates, rendering policy coherence and
inter-departmental cooperation difficult, despite its
critical importance for implementing a commodity-
based industrial strategy. Soft commodities tend
to fall under the ministry of agriculture, and hard
commodities under the mining and oil ministries—
but an industrial policy requires input and direction
from the ministry of industry.


Industrial policy requires well-targeted use of
resources, which are controlled by the ministry of
finance. It is therefore critical that national budgets
include resources for commodity-based industrial
strategies.


Even with the financing, linkage development
strategies often stumble at implementation.
For example, the ministry responsible for the
commodity sector may be charged with designing
and adopting the local-content or local-processing
requirements, but building firms’ capabilities
requires interventions under the ministry
responsible for industrial development. Similarly,
linkage development may require technical and
vocational training investment to prioritize certain
skills, but the education ministry may have other
urgencies. This often happens with technology, as
linkage development requires industrial capabilities
while public research institutes target innovation in
agriculture or health.


In soft commodities, any policy to increase local
processing needs to build on agricultural policies
aimed at expanding production, improving product
quality and developing infrastructure between rural
and industrial areas.


Lastly, an important source of misalignment exists
between ministries of trade and of industry. Trade
negotiating strategies should support national
industrial policy goals, but what they secure in
multilateral or bilateral trade forums often fails to
meet the strategic interests of local processing
or supplier industries, so that trade measures on


local content or export taxes may actually constrain
policy space for developing linkages.


Some recommendations include:


• Secure a mandate at the highest political level
to ensure that the interventions of relevant
ministries and agencies are aligned to the
national linkage development strategy.


• Create coherence within the government
system to ensure that ministries have a
local linkage development vision and make
institutional arrangements to aid policy
implementation and overcome coordination
problems.


• Target the agricultural sector in order to
raise productivity and quality (through
grading and standardizing services) and to
help companies specialize in niche markets
(such as speciality coffees and high-quality
cotton).


• Ensure that trade negotiations are aligned to
industrial strategies.


9. Negotiating regional trade arrangements
and fostering intra-African trade


Regional markets can play an important role in
facilitating local production linkages within and
between African countries, partly because they
provide learning opportunities and allow domestic
firms to build their production capabilities in a
staged, step-by-step process. Also, local suppliers
providing inputs and services to lead firms are
in effect servicing a bounded, easier-to-satisfy
market and can use this to build their capabilities.
Finally, regional markets allow companies to build
economies of scale, specialize a little between
countries, and upgrade functionally through
building regional “country of origin” branding
and thus higher returns. Particularly for soft
commodities and speciality products, however, this
requires a regional perspective and a realization
that not all countries in a region can occupy the
same branding space.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


247


Some recommendations include:


• Speed up launch of regional trade
arrangements on important areas such as
non-tariff barriers, sanitary and phytosanitary
measures, technical barriers to trade,
harmonization of customs procedures, and so
forth.


• Ensure that country members that have
not yet done so sign and implement the
tariff-reduction schedules envisaged by the
Continental Free Trade Area agreement.


• Remove cross-border impediments and
facilitate rapid movement of goods and
services within a regional trade area through
physical infrastructure development and
regulatory harmonization.


• Tackle the specific constraints that women
face in regional markets in cross-border trade,
including violence, corruption and confiscation
of goods.


6.4 finAl wOrds


African governments’ adoption of these
policy recommendations is only a first, albeit
important, step for them to take advantage of
the industrialization opportunities provided by
the commodity boom. Governments also need
to put their own house in order, in the sense of
developing their own departments’ attitudes and
capacity. Most government officials dealing with
enterprises have never been inside a factory and
have no hands-on knowledge of what firms do—
let alone their competitiveness.


Governments therefore have to run training
programs to enhance the capabilities and
knowledge of their own civil servants, for without
skilled human resources in state bodies it will
be hard to convince lead commodity producers
and local firms that they are serious. And without
political will and capacity, these recommendations
will probably remain—no doubt compelling—
words on paper, but will have little impact on the
trajectory and speed of industrialization. In which
case, Africa will have lost the chance of “making
the most of its commodities.”




Economic Report on Africa 2013


248


references


Hirschman, A. O. 1981. Essays in Trespassing: Economics to Politics and Beyond. New York: Cambridge University
Press.


Kaplinsky, R., and M. Farooki. 2012. Promoting Industrial Diversification in Resource Intensive Economies—The Examples
of sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia Regions. Vienna: United Nations Industrial Development Organization.


Morris, M., R. Kaplinsky, and D. Kaplan. 2012. One Thing Leads to Another: Promoting Industrialisation by Making
the Most of the Commodity Boom in sub-Saharan Africa. Published online by M. Morris, R. Kaplinsky, and D. Kaplan.
Available at: http://oro.open.ac.uk/30047/7/MMCP_Paper_12.pdf





Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


249




Economic Report on Africa 2013


250


LOCAL LINKAGE
PROMOTION


SUPPLY-CHAIN
DEVELOPMENT
PROGRAMMES


IN
D


U
S


TR


IAL
POLICY


MONITORING
MECHANISMS


UNDERSTAND THE TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE
GVCS AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE INDUSTRY.


To develop backward and forward linkages for soft commodity
sectors African countries need to take into account the
technical characteristics of the GVCs and the structure of
the industry. These are important in determining the best
strategies for local upgrading and for African firms to move
into more profitable and sustainable activities of regional and
global value chains.


Government policies and local
domestic capabilities are critical
determinants of the success of such
upgrading strategies. To speed up
and deepen the process of value
addition and linkage development,
African governments need to make a
strategic response, working closely
with other stakeholders, through
formulating and implementing
industrial policy. Government policies
need to encompass measures
targeting the processing industries as
well as the natural resource sectors.


DESIGN INDUSTRIAL POLICY WITHIN THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING FRAMEWORK.


LOCA


L
C


O
NT


ENT POLIC
Y


LINKAGES


DEVELOP AN APPROPRIATELY
DIRECTED LOCAL CONTENT POLICY.


ENGAGE THE LEAD COMMODITY
FIRMS (MOSTLY MULTINATIONALS)
ON PROMOTING A LOCAL
LINKAGE STRATEGY, INCLUDING
PROCUREMENT, SOURCING AND
PROCESSING.


ENFORCE SUPPLY-
CHAIN DEVELOPMENT
PROGRAMMES AND
MONITORING MECHANISMS
AMONG LEAD FIRMS.


EFFECTIVE
COORDINATION


DEVELOP LOCAL
SKILLS AND
TECHNOLOGICAL
CAPABILITIES AMONG
LINKAGE FIRMS.


RESOURCES




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


251


Addressing this issue is often the
most important factor in aiding the development


of both the commodity sector itself and its linkages.
Focusing on infrastructure development has spin-offs
for jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled workers as well


as for training for those with higher artisanal skills.


Regional markets can play an important role
in facilitating local production linkages
within and between African countries,


partly because they provide
learning opportunities and


allow domestic firms to
build their production


capabilities step
by step.


URGENTLY ADDRESS INFRASTRUCTURE
CONSTRAINTS AND BOTTLENECKS


CREATE THE APPROPRIATE INSTITUTIONAL AND
INDUSTRIAL POLICY MECHANISMS TO INCREASE
EFFECTIVENESS.


IMPROVE POLICY IMPLEMENTATION
THROUGH COORDINATION AMONG
RELEVANT MINISTRIES


NEGOTIATE REGIONAL TRADE
ARRANGEMENTS.


THERE IS NO “ONE SIZE FITS ALL” POLICY
STRATEGY FOR COMMODITY-BASED
INDUSTRIALIZATION.


Improved coordination is also
important in the private sector, between
farmers, growers, processors and exporters.
Only such systemic competitiveness along the entire
local value chain will enable firms to meet the requirements imposed by end
markets for price, quality and standards.


Governments do not have all the answers—and have
to learn. Hence their “leadership” entails not directing
participants but brokering meetings and ensuring that
sectional interests are redirected to the collective good.




Economic Report on Africa 2013


252


A Statistical Note


This year’s Economic Report on Africa is based
on the latest updated and harmonized data from
various sources, including questionnaires developed
by the authors. The main economic and social data
variables are obtained from the United Nations
Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-
DESA) database and the United Nations Statistical
Database. Data from the statistical databases of
the International Monetary Fund (IMF), African
Economic Outlook, Economist Intelligence Unit
(EIU), United Nations Centre for Trade and
Development, World Bank, International Labour
Organization, World Trade Organization and United
States International Trade Centre are also used in
connection with various economic indicators.


The UN-DESA’s Global Economic Outlook database
provides comparable data on GDP growth for all
African countries, except Seychelles and Swaziland
for which data are obtained from the IMF and EIU
databank. Real GDP growth rates are generated
using country data with 2005 as the base year.
Subregional inflation rates are weighted using
individual consumption spending by household in
billions of US dollars. Central government fiscal
balances are calculated using GDP at current
market prices in US dollars, and central government
receipts minus central government outlays as a
percent of GDP and GDP at current prices. Current
account balances are calculated from national
income accounts at current prices.


Social data are based on the latest data from
United Nations Agencies deposited in the United
Nations Statistical Database (UNSD). The UNSD,
the official repository of data for assessing progress
towards the Millennium Development Goals,
provides accurate and comparable data on Goal
indicators across African countries. The irregularity
of surveys/censuses, ages, definitions and methods
of production of the indicators may explain the lag
between the reporting year and the data years.


Attempts have been made to source all trade
statistics from United Nations data sources. Trade
data (exports and imports) are from the online
UNCTADstat database. The US data on textile
imports from Africa under the African Growth and
Opportunity Act are from the US International
Trade Commission. Commodity prices are from the
World Bank’s Global Economic Prospect 2012. Aid
for trade statistics are from the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)/
Development Assistance Committee’s Creditor
Reporting System (CRS), which provides the most
comprehensive and updated data on aid for trade.
Employment figures are from the International
Labour Organization official employment database.


The thematic part of the report employs data
collected, harmonized and analysed by local
consultants through questionnaires and interviews
with selected firms and policy makers from Algeria,
Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria,
South Africa and Zambia. But data in the report may
differ from those published for reasons including
timing and aggregation methods. Historical data
may differ from previous editions of this report due
to availability, recent revisions and timing.


Countries are classified into geographical regions
and country groupings. Unless otherwise noted, the
data cover 53 African countries (excluding South
Sudan). Geographic regions are: North, Southern,
East, West and Central. Parts of the analysis are
also based on country groupings of oil importers,
oil exporters, mineral rich and non-mineral rich
countries. Oil exporters refer to those countries
whose oil exports are at least 20 per cent higher
than their oil imports. Mineral rich countries are
those where mineral exports account for more
than 20 per cent of total exports. In classifying
commodities, ores and minerals are referred to as
hard commodities, agricultural raw commodities as
soft commodities and fuel as energy commodities.




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


253


Acronyms


AAF-SAP African Alternative Framework for Structural Adjustment Programmes
ADI Agro-industry Development Initiative
AERC African Economic Research Consortium
AfDB African Development Bank
AGOA Africa Growth and Opportunity Act
AIDA Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa
AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
AMU Arab Maghreb Union
AMV African Mining Vision
APCI African Productive Capacity Initiative
APRM African Peer Review Mechanism
ATF African Trade Forum
AU African Union
AUC African Union Commission
BRIC Brazil, Russia, India and China
CAADP Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme
CAMI Conference of African Ministers of Industry
CEN-SAD Community of Sahel-Saharan States
CEPR Centre for Economic Policy Research
CFA African Financial Community
CFTA Continental Free Trade Area
CIF Cost Insurance and Freight
CMT Cut, Make and Trim
CNRC Centre National du Registre du Commerce
COCAN Cocoa Association of Nigeria
COCOBOD Cocoa Board
CODESRIA Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
COMESA Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
COPAN Cocoa Processors Association of Nigeria
CSF Critical Success Factor
DAC Development Assistance Committee
DFQF Duty-Free and Quota-Free
DOTS Directly Observed Treatment Short Course
EAC East African Community
EBC Everything But Arms
ECA United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
ECCAS Economic Community of Central Africa
ECF Ethiopian Competitiveness Facility
ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States
ECX Ethiopian Commodity Exchange
EEG Export Expansion Grant
EIU Economist Intelligence Unit
EMIA Export Marketing and Investment Assistance
EPAs Economic Partnership Agreements




Economic Report on Africa 2013


254


EPC Export Promotion Council
EPCI Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation
EPZ Export Processing Zone
ESM European Stability Mechanism
ETF Exchange-Traded Fund
EU European Union
FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation
FDI Foreign Direct Investment
FOCAC Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
FPEAK Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya
GDF Global Development Finance
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GHI Global Hunger Index
GNI Gross National Income
GRI Global Reporting Initiative
GRIPS Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
GSP Generalised System of Preferences
GVC global value chains
HCDA Horticultural Crops Development Authority
HIPC Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus
HSRC Human Sciences Research Council
ICCO International Cocoa Organisation
ICO International Coffee Organisation
ICSG increasing costs of exploring and mining new areas
ICT Information and Communication Technology
IDC Industrial Development Corporation
IDS Institute of Development Studies
IEA International Energy Agency
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute
IGAD Intergovernmental Authority on Development
ILO International Labour Organisation
IMC Industrial Modernisation Centre
IMF International Monetary Fund
IPRCC International Poverty Reduction Centre in China
ITNs Insecticide-Treated Mosquito Nets
JIT Just In Time
JOA Joint Operating Agreements
KAM Kenya Association of Manufacturers
KTDA Kenya Tea Development Agency
LAC Latin America and the Caribbean
LDCs Least-Developed Countries
LICs Low Income Countries
LLPTI leather and leather product training institute
LME London Metal Exchange
LTRO Long-Term Refinancing Operations
MDGs Millennium Development Goals
MDRI Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative
MENA Middle East and North Africa
MFA Multi Fibre Agreement
MFN Most Favoured Nation
MMR Maternal Mortality Ratio
NDDC Niger Delta Development Commission
NEPAD New Partnership for Africa’s Development




Making the Most of Africa’s Commodities: Industrializing for Growth, Jobs and Economic Transformation


255


NNPC Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation
NSDP National Supplier Development Plan
NSE Nigerian Stock Exchange
ODA Official Development Assistance
OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OMT Outright Monetary Transactions
ONCC Office National du Café et du Cacao
OPEC Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
OSBP One-Stop-Border-Post
PCRD Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development
PIB Petroleum Industry Bill
PIDA Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa
PPE Personal protective equipment
PPIAF Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility
PPP Public-Private Partnerships
PSC Production Sharing Contract
PTDF Petroleum Technology Development Fund
PTI Petroleum Training Institute
QIZ Qualifying Industrial Zone
RECs Regional Economic Communities
RMG Ready Made Garments
ROO Rules of Origin
SACEEC South African Capital Equipment Export Council
SACU South African Customs Union
SADC Southern African Development Community
SAP Structural Adjustment Programme
SAR Special Administration Region
SCID Studies in Comparative International Development
SIC Cacaos Societé Industrielle des Cacaos
SODECAO Societé de Development du Cacao
SPS Sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures
SSM Special Safeguard Mechanism
SURF sub-sea umbilicals, risers and flow line
SWF Sovereign Wealth Funds
TBT Technical barriers to trade
TCF Third-Country Fabric
UN United Nations
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UN-DESA United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organisation
UNOSAA United Nations Office of the Special Advisor for Africa
UNRISD United Nations Research Institute for Social Development
UNU-WIDER United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research
US United States
USA United States of America
US-GSP United States-Generalized System of Preferences
USITC United States International Trade Commission
WB World Bank
WDI World Development Indicators
WEF World Economic Forum
WHO World Health Organisation
WTO World Trade Organisation




Economic Report on Africa 2013


256


Acknowledgements


The Economic Report on Africa 2013, a joint
publication of the United Nations Economic
Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African
Union Commission (AUC), was prepared under
the leadership of Carlos Lopes, ECA’s Executive
Secretary, and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma,
Chairperson of AUC, with the active involvement
of Abdalla Hamdok, Deputy Executive Secretary of
ECA, and Maxwell Mkwezalamba, Commissioner
for Economic Affairs, AUC. The report team
benefited from the guidance and supervision of
Emmanuel Nnadozie, ECA’s Director of Economic
Development and NEPAD Division, and René
Kouassi N’Guettia, Director of the Economic Affairs
Department, AUC.


The report’s substantive team comprised Adam
B. Elhiraika (Coordinator), Souleymane Abdallah,
Bartholomew Armah, Chigozirim Bodart, Julianne
Deitch, Adrian Gauci, Aissatou Gueye, Zheng Jian,
Mama Keita, Samson Kwalingana, Ahamada Marie,
Michael Mbate, Simon Mevel, Siope Ofa, John
Sloan and Giovanni Valensisi, from ECA; Ndinaye
Charumbira, Dauda Suma, and Hailu Kinfe, from
AUC; and Tariq Haq, Michael Mwasikakata and
Irmgard Nubler, from ILO.


Background papers were commissioned from
Prof. Mike Morris and Dr. Judith Fessehaie,
both of the University of Cape Town and
nine country studies were undertaken by Dr.
Youcef Benabdallah (Algeria), Dr. Désiré Avom
(Cameroon), Mr. Rami Waguih Lofty Hanna
(Egypt), Dr. Ahmed A. Kellow (Ethiopia), Dr.
William Baah–Boateng (Ghana), Dr. Rosemary
Atieno (Kenya), Prof. David Olusanya Ajakaiye
(Nigeria), Prof. David Kaplan (South Africa) and
Dr. Caleb Mailoni Fundanga (Zambia).


Useful comments were received from Stephen
Karingi, Laura Páez and Gonzague Rosalie of ECA,
Mr. Wilson Atta Krofah, Pan African Chamber of
Commerce and Industry; Dr. Winford Masanjala,
Ministry of Energy and Mining, Malawi; Ms.
Khethiwe Mhlanga, Ministry of Commerce Industry
and Trade, Swaziland; Ms. Wakap Tchagang Ariane,
Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional
Development, Cameroon; Ms. Sampa Kangwa
Wilkie, SRO-SA; Ms. Manisha Dookhony, Rwanda
Development Board, Kigali; Prof. Yash Tandon,
Independent Consultant, London; Prof. Benjamin
Turok, Member of Parliament, South Africa; Prof.
Ammon Mbelle, University of Dar es Salaam;
Mr. Jean Bakole, UNIDO Regional Office, Addis
Ababa; and Ms. Candide Leguede, FEFA CEDEAO,
Lome.


We are particularly grateful for the expert advice
provided by Dr. Ha-Joon Chang, University of
Cambridge, UK; Dr. Yilmaz Akyüz, South Centre,
Geneva; and Prof. Raphael Kaplinsky, Open
University, UK.


This report would not have been possible without
the contribution of the following: Doreen Bongoy-
Mawalla, Hazel Scott, Etienne Kabou, Marcel
Ngoma-Mouaya, Charles Ndungu, Teshome
Yohannes, Ferdos Isa, Adeyinka Adeyemi, Mercy
Wambui, Aloysius Fomenky, Tsitsi Mtetwa, Uzumma
Erume, Agare Kassahun, Yetinayet Mengistu,
Azeb Moguesse, Shewaye Woldeyes, Ariam
Abraham, Solomon Wedere, Bekele Demissie
of ECA; Bruce Ross-Larson and Jack Harlow of
Communications Development Incorporated (CDI);
Carolina Rodriguez, Giacomo Frigerio and Valentina
Frigerio of Factblink; and Eunice Mafundikwa,
Communication Consultant.






African countries have a real opportunity to capitalize on their resource
endowments and high international commodity prices, as well as on
opportunities from changes in the global economy to promote economic
transformation through commodity-based industrialization and to address
poverty, inequality and unemployment. If grasped, these opportunities will
help Africa promote competitiveness, reduce its dependence on primary
commodity exports and associated vulnerability to shocks and emerge as
a new global growth pole.


This report argues that the question is not whether Africa can industrialize
by ignoring its commodities, but rather how it can use them to add value,
new services and tech nological capabilities—although this may not apply
to all African countries and should not be the only way African resource-rich
countries industrialize. Making the most of Africa’s commodities requires
appropriate development planning frameworks and effective industrial
policies that are evidence based and take into account what influences
linkage breadth and depth, as well as the structural and country-specific
linkage drivers.




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