Professional Course

Industrial Policy in the 21st Century: The Challenge for Africa

edX, Online
4 weeks
49 USD
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
4 weeks
49 USD
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
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Course description

Industrial Policy in the 21st Century: The Challenge for Africa

According to The World Bank, Africa’s working-age population is expected to increase by nearly 70% by 2035. Without industrialization to create jobs, it will be difficult to achieve sustainable development. While manufacturing led to rapid industrialization in East Asian countries, there is doubt that it can have the same effect in Africa. The question is, if not through manufacturing, how can Africa promote economic growth?

In this course from the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), brought to you by the SDG Academy, you will hear from researcher John Page and other leading voices in development economics about the range of activities known “industries without smokestacks,” and learn how industrial policy that promotes the growth of these industries presents a win-win scenario for economic development in Africa.

This course is for:

  • Policy professionals who want to understand how industrial policy can create win-win strategies for growth and development
  • Development practitioners seeking insight into how to address the need for industrialization in Africa
  • Advanced undergraduates and graduate students interested in economics, development, industrialization, and other key concepts related to Africa’s development

Upcoming start dates

1 start date available

Start anytime

  • Self-paced Online
  • Online
  • English

Who should attend?


We recommend that learners have at least anundergraduate level of understanding of economics and development theory.

Training content

Industry as a driver of structural change

  • Chapter 1: Is industry special?
  • Chapter 2: Can we broaden the options?
  • Chapter 3: Introducing “industries without smokestacks”
  • Chapter 4: Win-win policies
  • Chapter 5: An agenda for aid
  • Mini-documentary: How to provide jobs & transform livelihoods

The recipe for industrial growth

  • Chapter 1: Drivers of industry: exports and the basics
  • Chapter 2: Drivers of industry: firm capabilities
  • Chapter 3: Drivers of industry: agglomerations
  • Chapter 4: Lessons from East Africa
  • Chapter 5: Is manufacturing the answer? Expert views
  • - Manufacturing is still the answer - Justin Lin
  • - Manufacturing might not be the answer - Joseph Stiglitz
  • Chapter 6: Industry case studies
  • - Light manufacturing
  • - Tourism
  • - Agribusiness

Avoiding the resource curse

  • Chapter 1: Natural resources: opportunities and risks
  • Chapter 2: Natural resources: investing to invest
  • Chapter 3: Lessons from Viet Nam, Tanzania and Senegal
  • - Lessons from Viet Nam
  • - Lessons from Tanzania
  • - Lessons from Senegal
  • Activity: What the data shows

Industrial policies for Africa

  • Chapter 1: Industrial policy: what, why, how?
  • Chapter 2: Industrial policy in Africa
  • Chapter 3: The challenge for Africa
  • Chapter 4: How to avoid capture of politicians?
  • Chapter 5: Lessons from Ethiopia

Course delivery details

This course is offered through SDG Academy, a partner institute of EdX.

2-4 hours per week


  • Verified Track -$49
  • Audit Track - Free

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

  • Why manufacturing might not be the best model for African industrialization
  • How “industries without smokestacks” provide a promising alternative
  • What key drivers of industrialization can support traditional and new industries in Africa
  • How industrial policy can support development in Africa

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