Morocco ranked second in the Africa Industrialization Index, behind South Africa, thanks to its growing manufacturing and export operations.
Morocco scored 0.83 in the index, marking a slight decline compared to 2020.
Despite the score drop, Rabat succeeded in securing the second position after a decline in Tunisia’s ranking from second in 2010 to fourth in 2021. Meanwhile, South Africa maintained the top position over the past decade, scoring 0.84 in 2021, down from 0.89 in 2010.
Morocco’s strong performance in exports “has allowed the country to become the second largest exporter of manufacturers on the continent after South Africa,” the report indicated, adding that the country now accounts for 21.1% of Africa’s total manufacturing exports, outperforming direct competitors like Tunisia and Egypt.
Morocco’s growing manufacturing capacity and export volumes of electrical distribution equipment, automotive, fertilizers, and women’s garments to Europe, the United States and Brazil helped Rabat secure the second position in the sub-index of performance with a score of 0.8, behind South Africa who scored 0.82.
Egypt, Tunisia, and Eswatini followed among the top five performing African countries, ahead of Mauritius, Equatorial Guinea, and Democratic Republic of Congo.
In addition to the assessment of economic performance, the index evaluated direct determinants like labor and capital, as well as indirect determinants like macroeconomic stability and existing infrastructure.
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The competition between Morocco and South Africa over the top position was prevalent in the two indicators, with Morocco outperforming in the direct determinant aspects with a score of 0.83 while South Africa maintained regional leadership in terms of macroeconomic indicators and physical and digital infrastructure.
Despite the solid performance of South Africa’s industries, North Africa is the top-performing sub-region, the report noted. “Three of its six countries rank within the top 10 countries on the Index, and its average score is around 0.7.”
The industrialization index assessed 52 African countries across 19 indicators. It also identified that 37 African countries have been “more industrialized over the past eleven years.”
The report published on Thursday was conducted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on the sidelines of the AU Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification held in Niamey, Niger.
As Africa moves towards more integrated regional ecosystems with the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, the continent is expected to enhance industrialization efforts.
“The African Continental Free Trade Area is creating a once-in-a-lifetime single market opportunity of 1.3 billion people to enhance their trade and production linkages and finally reap industrial competitiveness from regional integration as other regions have done,” AfDB Director for Industrial Trade Development Abdu Mukhtar commented.