Four Industrial Policy Regimes that have Shaped Africa

The first was the import substitution; with trade and industrial policies that encourage domestic production to reduce dependence on foreign imports. The second is a market-led regime where policies ranged from currency devaluations, privatisation, trade liberalisation to financial sector liberalisation. This regime brought about a decisive shift of power from ‘spending ministries’ to ‘budgetary ministries’. The third regime was the export-first industrial policy which has been dominant over the past two to three decades. It has been most visible through special economic zones and the encouragement of firms in Africa to link up to high-end global markets. This linkage was most pronounced in the apparels sector. The fourth regime was the domestically-oriented industrial policy which involves protection of domestic producers and the use of public procurement. Public procurement is used to encourage domestic consumption of locally procured goods (through Made In Campaigns).


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