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Thursday, 2 May 2019

“Made in Africa” could be the new “Made in China” in 50 years

“Made in Africa” could be the new “Made in China” in 50 years if enough focus is given to investing in manufacturing across the continent, our friend Carbon Holdings CEO Basil El-Baz writes for the Financial Times’ Beyond Brics blog. Many economies in Africa have already been flourishing over the past several years, propped up by a “blossoming” services sector, but Africa could become an economic powerhouse once manufacturing becomes the core source of growth. “Sustainable transformation requires a radical new approach. It is not a services economy that will lift half a bn people out of poverty or create 100m jobs, but an industrial one. Export-led manufacturing will be the key to Africa’s success, just as it transformed the fortunes of Asian countries, particularly China, in past decades.”

Cross-border expansion is already happening, thanks to freetrade agreement: El Baz also argues that the African Continental Freetrade Zone, which was launched last year, will also spur investments in cross-border infrastructure and help lay the groundwork for further expansions in the customer bases of African-owned companies. With that infrastructure in place, Africa will be well-placed to edge out China as the world’s leading manufacturer and exporter of goods, particularly since Africa is already at a geographical advantage.

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