Making policies work

Dossier: Value chains and industrialisation


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This dossier brings together ECDPM’s work on global value chains and industrialisation in Africa.

In this dossier:

Value chains and industrialisation

In today’s globalised world, it’s not exceptional that goods have its production process located across different countries, even continents. Global value chains are the result of globalisation, where intermediary goods and services now account for the majority world trade. Trade evolves continuously as a result of new technology and interconnected production patterns. While in the past countries traded goods; currently they trade in tasks and increasingly in “knowledge-intensive” goods and services.

The challenge for developing countries is to ensure that potential benefits from international (and regional) value chains stay in the country. Due to their production structures and many capacity constraints, African countries run the risk of being marginalised and of remaining trapped at the low end of the value chain. Yet, while there is a growing consensus that value chains play an important role for development, views differ on the strategies to adopt to reach such development. It’s not simply about attracting foreign direct investment from major multinational companies, but moving away from the conventional export of raw commodities and stimulate diversification of exports towards more processed goods. 

The challenge remains to enhance the domestic production capacity, to create higher value, more and better quality jobs and increase linkages between national, regional and global economies. It also entails pursuing a pragmatic approach to industrialisation, to foster the upgrading in global and regional value chains that will lead to development.

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ECDPM’s work on value chains and industrialisation

ECDPM has a long history of analysis and research on EU migration and development policy. As a knowledge broker for well-informed policy dialogue, we have produced a number of blogs, briefing notes, discussion papers and background notes. This includes work for the 2016 Dutch Presidency of the EU.

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Nutritious regional value chains: The final step is what matters
Carmen Torres, ECDPM Talking Points blog, 1 October 2015

Celebrating Industrialisation Day in Africa: Twenty-four years on, where are we?
Isabelle Ramdoo, ECDPM Talking Points blog, 20 November 2014

Assisting Regional Institutions and Farmers’ Organisations for Inclusive Regional Value Chain Development
Fabien Tondel and Francesco Rampa, ECDPM Talking Points blog, 31 October 2014

What the Extractive Sector Should Focus On – Part 1: Shared Value
Isabelle Ramdoo, ECDPM Talking Points blog, 7 February 2014

What the Extractive Sector Should Focus On – Part 2: Partnerships
Isabelle Ramdoo, ECDPM Talking Points blog, 7 February 2014

Bananas and Bottlenecks: Piloting Regional Value Chain Cooperation for
Francesco Rampa, ECDPM Talking Points blog, 18 October 2013

‘Men get motorbikes, women get voice’ – Questions on people-centred business
Bruce Byers, ECDPM Talking Points blog, 06 June 2013

African mineral wealth: turning stones into bread…
Isabelle Ramdoo, ECDPM Talking Points blog, 10 February 2012

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From ECDPM’s GREAT Insights magazine


Sustainable value chains

GREAT Insights magazine volume 4, issue 6 (December 2015/January 2016) – Download the issue here


Value chains and industrialisation

GREAT Insights magazine volume 3, issue 5 (May 2015) – Download the issue here

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Publications and presentations

Making global supply chains sustainable: The case of the gold sector
Briefing Note, Isabelle Ramdoo, December 2015

Recent developments in the dairy sector in Eastern Africa: Towards a regional policy framework for value chain development
Briefing Note, Susan Bingi and Fabien Tondel, September 2015

Synergising and optimising mineral infrastructure in regional development strategies
The E15 Initiative, October 2015

Resource-based industrialisation in Africa: Optimising linkages and value chains in the extractive sector
Discussion Paper, Isabelle Ramdoo, September 2015

Unpacking local content requirements in the extractive sector: What implications for the global trade and investment frameworks?
The E15 Initiative, May 2015

Industrial Policies in a Changing World: What Prospects for Low-Income Countries?
The E15 Initiative, May 2015

Costs if you do, costs if you don’t: Promoting responsible business and reporting – challenges for policy makers
Discussion Paper, Bruce Byers, May 2015

Working for Economic Transformation
ODI and ECDPM, March 2015

The State of Mining Value Chains in Africa
Presentation, Isabelle Ramdoo, September 2014

Supporting capabilities and linkages across mining value chains – Understanding Africa’s Strategic Vision
Presentation, Isabelle Ramdoo, September 2014

Extractive Resources for Development: Trade, Fiscal and Industrial Considerations
Discussion Paper, Isabelle Ramdoo, January 2014

Regional Aid for Trade Effectiveness and Corridors
Book chapter, Bruce Byers and Dan Lui, December 2013

Trade Finance Opportunities through South-South Cooperation
Report, Ana María Alvarez, October 2013

Fixing Broken Links: Linking Extractive Sectors to Productive Value Chains
Discussion Paper, Isabelle Ramdoo, March 2013

New Mega-Trade Deals: What Implications for Africa?
Briefing Note, Isabelle Ramdoo, March 2013

Corridors of Power or Plenty
Discussion Paper, Bruce Byers and Francesco Rampa, January 2013

Common or Conflicting Interests? Reflections on the Private Sector (for) Development Agenda
Discussion Paper, Anna Rosengren and Bruce Byers, July 2012

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Costs if you do, costs if you don’t: the price of promoting CSR
ECDPM podcast, 17 June 2015

Resource-based industrialisation and global value chains in Africa



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Dossier photo – Courtesy of Rodger Bosch/