Economic development in Africa Report 2023: Unleashing Africa’s potential in technology-driven global supply chains

Africa has a unique opportunity to enhance its role in worldwide supply chains, foster growing sectors, and generate substantial employment opportunities


The Economic Development in Africa Report 2023, published by UNCTAD, examines the potential of the African continent to play a significant role in global supply chains in high-technology industries such as automobiles, mobile phones, renewable energy, and healthcare. Recent disruptions in trade, economic uncertainty, the global pandemic, and geopolitical events have prompted manufacturers worldwide to diversify their production locations and expand their geographical reach. This presents an opportunity for African governments and businesses to position the continent as an attractive destination for global supply chains.

Africa possesses an abundance of critical minerals necessary for high-tech and eco-friendly products. It is also home to a young and tech-savvy population, a flexible workforce, and a growing middle class. Furthermore, the African Continental Free Trade Area provides advantages by facilitating access to regional markets and enhancing production chains across the continent, thereby equipping domestic industries for the global stage. The report recommends policy actions to address African countries’ challenges in establishing supply chains, such as inadequate logistics, limited technology adoption, fragmented markets, insufficient access to capital, and weak institutional frameworks and regulations.