Haul truck being repaired and serviced by a worker.
Haul truck being repaired and serviced by a worker in Namibia.
Photo:World Bank/John Hogg

Industrialization for Development 

Industrial development is of critical importance for sustained and inclusive economic growth in African countries. Industry can enhance productivity, increase the capabilities of the workforce, and generate employment, by introducing new equipment and new techniques. Industrialization, with strong linkages to domestic economies, will help African countries achieve high growth rates, diversify their economies and reduce their exposure to external shocks. This will substantially contribute to poverty eradication through employment and wealth creation.

Within the framework of the Second Industrial Development Decade for Africa (1991-2000), the United Nations General Assembly, in 1989, proclaimed 20 November “Africa Industrialization Day” (A/RES/44/237). Since then, the United Nations System has held events on that day throughout the world to raise awareness about the importance of Africa’s industrialization and the challenges faced by the continent.


“Industrializing Africa: Renewed Commitment Towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization and Economic Diversification”


Poster for the Summit 2021 with link to the website

Since 2018, Africa Industrialization Day has been commemorated with weeklong events.

The Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification has been postponed and will be convened in 2022. Updates on the reconvening of the Summit will be provided in due course on the official website.


Manufacturing growth in Africa (Quarter II 2021) 

Compared to the second quarter of 2020, growth estimates - based on limited data availability for African countries - indicate a stable expansion of manufacturing output of 17.8 %. By contrast, a year ago, output dropped by 17.1 %, as COVID-19 forced many countries to impose containment measures.

In the current quarter, an expansion of manufacturing output was recorded in many African countries, such as South Africa (39.3 %), Rwanda (30.2 %), Senegal (22.6 %) and Nigeria (4.6 %).

Source: World Manufacturing Production, UNIDO, 2021

Two women working at an engineering company, link to African Economic Conference.

The theme of the 2021 African Economic Conference, “Financing Africa’s post-COVID-19 development”, aims to bring together various stakeholders, including policymakers, the private sector, and researchers, to examine ways and means to expand Africa’s development finance sources sustainably. The conference is jointly organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and is planned to be held in Cabo Verde from 2 to 4 December 2021.

Logo of the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa, link to the Decade

On 25 July 2016, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III). UNIDO was tasked with leading the implementation of the Decade, in collaboration with a range of partners. The vision for the implementation of IDDA III is to firmly anchor Africa on a path towards inclusive and sustainable industrial development.

illustration of people with clock, calendar, to-do list and decorations

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.