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Morocco: A Leading Model in Industrialization in Africa

Similar to Asia’s economic growth pattern, Morocco is a leading model in the manufacturing sector.

05 Jan 2022

Fez - Edward Chisanga, a Zambian expert at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, said on January 3 that Morocco is a model for other African countries in terms of industrialization and exports promotion.

“What we need the most is to follow the path taken by countries like Morocco whose world exports of manufactured products amount to 72%,” Chisanga said.

According to the Zambian expert, Morocco follows in the footsteps of other countries, such as Bangladesh and Vietnam. As a result, he argued, the North African country is reaping the benefits of WTO agreements as it devotes resources to diversify and industrialize its economy.

“Africa must find by itself an added-value from exports.” He further explained that the African continent must do so “by engaging with rich countries in foreign direct investment and developing the private sector,” Chisanga stressed.

Highlighting how the absence of exportable manufactured products from Africa has long relegated African countries to providers of raw materials, the Zambian expert argued that the continent should focus on manufacturing and foreign direct investments to generate local wealth.

The expert called on African countries to stop victimizing themselves and to create wealth for themselves. He especially lamented those who think that “Africa has been exploited for too long by rich countries, making it a supplier of raw materials for their ongoing industrialization and an importer of finished goods.”

Zambia sends more primary products to China than produced things, but China exports more manufactured products than primary products, Chisanga pointed out.

“Zambia exports raw copper because it lacks the machines, human skills, and infrastructure to integrate it into an industrial process and export finished products,” he explained.

As Africa’s first passenger car producer, Morocco has surpassed South Africa as the continent's largest exporter of passenger automobiles, with $7 billion (MAD 65.1 billion) in car exports at the end of 2018.

Like other countries on the continent, Morocco too has a long way to travel when it comes to creating local wealth and being a front-row actor in the fourth industrial revolution. But the country’s increasing investments in key economic sectors have led many observers to describe it as “the new emerging African power,” a shaper of the coming continental paradigms, or “the face of modern Africa.”


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