The political economy of green industrialisation in Africa
Alfonso Medinilla and Bruce Byiers discuss the complex landscape of green industrialisation in African countries. They propose a multilayered political economy framework to analyse the available opportunities and risks for emerging economies.
This paper discusses the complex landscape of green industrialisation in African countries, proposing a multilayered political economy framework to analyse the available opportunities and risks for emerging economies.
As major industrial economies adopt 'green growth' policies and narratives, African governments must navigate pre-existing challenges in economic diversification, as well as global climate commitments. The paper emphasises the intricate relationship between technical considerations, political complexities and the diverse interests and capabilities between and within African countries.
It introduces four 'proactive' strategies to categorise green industrialisation efforts, covering activities that are both relevant for exports outside the continent and for African domestic and regional markets under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Finally, the paper discusses cases where African countries are technically well-positioned to benefit from a green industrial revolution and whether or not structural factors, institutions and actors can align around it. Yet political economy challenges persist. Robust industrial policies that take account of political realities between and within countries are crucial for maximising low-carbon opportunities, playing into a rapidly evolving global market, leveraging specific African assets, and addressing constraints.