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Industrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Seizing Opportunities in Global Value Chains

November 23, 2021



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Emerging trends such as functional and geographic fragmentation of production, adoption of advanced production technologies in manufacturing, and shifting globalization patterns have characterized the global economy. These developments have generated a lot of debate and speculation about the prospects of manufacturing as a potential driver of job creation, income growth and structural change in Sub-Saharan Africa. Industrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Seizing Opportunities in Global Value Chains reassesses the prospects of industrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa through integration into global value chains and examines the role of policy in enhancing these prospects for successful industrial development. The main question is not if, but how Sub-Saharan African countries should pursue industrialization.

  • Welcoming Remarks:

    • Hafez Ghanem, Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, World Bank Group


    • Douglas Gollin, Professor of Development Economics, Oxford University


    • Kinley Salmon, Africa Correspondent, The Economist


    • Edward Brown, Senior Director, Research & Policy Engagements, Africa Center for Economic Transformation
    • Margaret McMillan, Professor of Economics, Tufts University
    • Thomas Mélonio, Director of Innovation, Research and Knowledge, French Development Agency
    • Albert Zeufack, Africa Region Chief Economist, World Bank Group
  • Hafez Ghanem

    Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa

    Hafez Ghanem, an Egyptian and French national, is the Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa. A development expert with over 30 years of experience, Dr. Ghanem leads relations with 26 countries, and oversees over 280 projects totaling more than $49 billion. Prior to his appointment on July 1, 2020, Dr. Ghanem served as the Vice President for Africa. Under his leadership, the World Bank supported inclusive growth and poverty reduction by financing projects that boost human capital, support private sector development, raise agricultural productivity, improve access to infrastructure, build resilience to climate change, and promote regional integration. Intensifying assistance for fragile and conflict-affected states, promoting gender equality, and providing economic opportunities for youth were core to his vision for the Africa Region.  Dr. Ghanem also served as Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa from 2015 to 2018, overseeing the World Bank’s engagement with 20 countries. Leading up to this, he was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Global Economy and Development program leading the Arab economies project, focused on the impact of political transition on Arab economic development.

    Edward Brown

    Senior Director, Research & Policy Engagements, Africa Center for Economic Transformation

    Dr. Edward K. Brown, currently Senior Director, Research and policy Engagements at the Africa Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), based in Accra, Ghana, has over 35 years in international development, half of which were spent at the World Bank. He started his career as a research economist at the Development Research Department at the World Bank, and later as Population Economist in the Population Health and Nutrition Department, leading high-level policy dialogue and operations in the social sector. The last 12 years prior to leaving the World Bank in 2007, were in management and leadership positions, providing overall leadership and management of country programs, formulating and carrying out country assistance strategies and strengthening partnerships with stakeholders. He was the Country Manager for Moldova in Eastern Europe and Tajikistan in Central Asia 2003 -2007, and previously served as the Resident Representative in Niger and Rwanda during the 1990’s. He has written a number of articles and publications on sustainable development and other topics, including a contribution to the 1984 World Development Report, and other World Bank reports. He received the World Bank Staff Association Best Manager’s Award in 1999. He holds a PhD and MA in Development Economics and Demography from the University of Pennsylvania, and BA from the University of Ghana. Currently at ACET, he manages a pool of in-house senior policy advisors, researchers and economist, and drawing on a worldwide pool of expertise to assist African policymakers respond to specific challenges and opportunities—with the explicit goals of transferring knowledge, building local capabilities and spurring economic growth and transformation. His main interests are in public policy, economic management (domestic resources mobilization and expenditure management), institutional and organizational reforms and development strategies.

    Douglas Gollin

    Professor of Development Economics, Oxford University

    Douglas Gollin is Professor of Development Economics at Oxford University, based in the Oxford Department of International Development. His research focuses broadly on economic development and growth, with an emphasis on the structural transformations that accompany the growth process. He has particular interests in agricultural productivity and technology, from a micro scale to macro scale. His work has also looked at rural-urban mobility and urbanization processes, spatial patterns of development and a range of other topics. Professor Gollin joined Oxford in October 2012 after spending 16 years on the faculty of Williams College in the United States. He currently serves as Research Director for a major global programme of academic research on Structural Transformation and Economic Growth (STEG), funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office. Professor Gollin is a managing editor of the Journal of African Economies. 

    Margaret McMillan

    Professor of Economics, Tufts University

    Margaret McMillan is the JRN Professor of International Relations and a Professor of Economics at Tufts University. She has published widely in the areas of international trade, investment, structural change and economic growth focusing primarily on developing countries. Understanding the distributional consequences of international economic integration is a key focus of her work. She is a Faculty Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute and a recipient of numerous research grants. In 2005, she was named the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Professor McMillan’s research has been featured in the New York Times, the Financial Times, and the NBER Digest and has been published in leading economics journals. Professor McMillan has worked in several African countries including Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa. Before coming to academia, she worked for a variety of organizations including the Peace Corps, Lehman Brothers, USAID, UNDP and the World Bank. Professor McMillan holds a Ph.D. in economics (with distinction) from Columbia University an MPA from Princeton University and a B.S. (summa cum laude) from Boston University.

    Thomas Mélonio

    Director of Innovation, Research and Knowledge, French Development Agency

    An economist by training, (HEC, PhD from the IEP in Paris), Thomas Mélonio joined AFD in 2005 and quickly moved to the Research Department. His work then focused on methods for human capital development, the financing of education and higher education, and international migration. From 2012 to 2017, he was deputy adviser and then adviser to the French President on Africa. He returned to AFD in 2017 to head the Partnerships Department and then became Executive Director for Innovation, Research and Knowledge in 2018.

    Kinley Salmon

    Africa Correspondent, The Economist

    Kinley Salmon is an Africa correspondent, travelling across the continent. Prior to joining The Economist in 2020 he was an economist at the World Bank which he joined in 2016 on the Young Professional program. Mr Salmon previously worked as a strategy consultant at McKinsey and Company advising governments and the private sector in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. He is the author of Jobs, Robots and Us (2019) on the future of work.  He holds a BA in Social and Political Sciences and a Graduate Diploma in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and a Master of Public Administration in International Development from Harvard University where he was a Knox Fellow.

    Albert Zeufack

    Africa Region Chief Economist, World Bank Group

    Albert Zeufack, a Cameroonian national, is the World Bank Chief Economist for the Africa Region. He joined the World Bank in 1997 as a research economist in the macroeconomics division of the Research Department. Since then, he has held several positions in the East Asia and Pacific region, as well as in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice with a particular focus on Africa, Europe and Central Asia. Mr. Zeufack’s main research interest is the micro-foundations of macroeconomics. Prior to his appointment as Chief Economist, he was Practice Manager in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice and leader of the World Bank-wide Community of Practice for the Management of Natural Resources Rents, a group interested in sovereign wealth, fiscal rules, public spending patterns, and macro-modeling in natural resource-rich economies. Before joining the World Bank, Mr. Zeufack taught economics and applied econometrics at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France, where he received his Ph.D. in economics. He holds a master’s degree in economic analysis and policy from the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon.