Over the past 20 years, we have seen urbanization happen at a rapid pace - where increasingly Nigerians and Africans are moving from farms to cities in search of more prosperous lives. However, upon arriving in these cities they are confronted with a scarcity of jobs.
Pre-industrial societies are dominated by agriculture and the majority of their citizens are poor - this is the outlook of almost all African countries.
Manufacturing catalyzes agrarian economies - making them more productive and shifting production from raw agricultural output into higher-value processed goods which creates export revenue & exponential job growth.
Services grow along with manufacturing because you have a critical mass of citizens with disposable income who can pay for & need services. (Delivery, transportation, tourism, entertainment, healthcare, finance, insurance, real estate, retail).
With a missing industrial base in most African nations, we have a core focus on people jumping into services without a market of citizens with income to pay for these services. The result is usually the creation of micro-entrepreneurs - characterized by hawking, petty trading, and other odd jobs. The reasons we haven’t seen this industrialization take place are:
No political will for economic diversification & a dangerous over-dependence on oil.
The implementation of ineffective one-size-fits-all policies that favour exporting raw materials & importation of finished goods.
Inadequate power supply (more power in the USA state of Connecticut than all of Nigeria with 57X more people).
Technological advantage of West & Asia combined with globalization has led to some local industries being decimated. Eg. Now defunct Nigerian textile industry.
Africa's manufacturing has been stagnant. Now we see widespread unemployment and poor economic conditions. With our explosive population growth, this leaves Nigeria & the continent at a critical juncture in its development. Notwithstanding all the above reasons its a do or die scenario with manufacturing being the do and the inability to do so being die.
Industrialization is the fastest way for our communities & nations on the continent to experience economic growth and equity - shared prosperity. Shifting the development mindset from poverty eradication to prosperity creation is a necessary paradigm shift.
We find ourselves in a unique time where the world is undergoing a digital revolution. Africa doesn’t have to go through an industrial revolution followed by a digital one. Releaf is doing them simultaneously by using digital technology & top-notch hardware to catalyze an industrial revolution.