Building and Utilizing Productive Capacities in Africa and the LDCs: A Holistic and Practical Guide

The development of productive capacities is increasingly recognized as a fundamental step in transforming the economies of African countries and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and putting them on a sustained development path.

Following the global financial and economic crises of 2008/09, there is also growing acknowledgement of the vital role of industrial policy in fostering economic transformation and development, particularly in structurally weak and vulnerable developing countries.

The Least Developed Countries Report 2006: Developing Productive Capacities (UNCTAD, 2006) was one of the key international reports promoting a “production capacities centred” view of development and stressing how the development of productive capacities could play a role in addressing the trade and development challenges that LDCs and other structurally weak and vulnerable economies face in the medium to long term.

The present report complements the materials in the Least Developed Countries Report 2006, and other UNCTAD publications, on issues related to the development of productive capacities.

It provides a comprehensive and operational framework for developing productive capacities in Africa and LDCs. More importantly, it adopts a holistic approach to productive capacity development, which underscores the need to build new productive capacities as well as enhance utilization rates of existing capacities.

It also provides actionable policy recommendations and instruments that African countries and LDCs could adopt to develop productive capacities.

In this context, the report is a useful and practical guide to Governments engaged in the design, implementation and enforcement of productive transformation policies.