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Embracing the challenges of sustainable industrial development
The industrial sector is often said to be essential to economic development, but it is also a source of much controversy (environmental impact, labor law compliance, creation of decent jobs, etc.). This is why PROPARCO wanted to devote the latest issue of its review Private Sector & Development to the questions raised by the industrial sector at a time when we are embracing sustainable development. The review lets researchers, economists, representatives of NGOs and business leaders have their say in order to shed light on these subjects, which are particularly topical during the current health and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 epidemic.

Cure-all for African unemployment? The Asian miracle? Responsible for climate change? A solution for (in)dependence and national resilience? 

We cannot talk about industrialization without pointing out that this sector is frequently touted as an indispensable stage in economic development. It generates employment and abounds in innovations for the energy transition. Today, it accounts for 25% of GDP in Sub Saharan Africa and 36% of GDP in Southeast Asia.

We cannot talk about industrialization without also mentioning the controversies related to the sector, which raise questions about the transformations required for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, environmental conservation and compliance with social and environmental standards to ensure sustainable and more equitable development (creation of decent jobs, harnessing clean technology, shared innovation).  As well as causing economic hardship across the planet, the health and economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 epidemic has also brought these questions into clearer focus.

The authors of this issue – researchers, economists, representatives of NGOs and business leaders – give us some keys to understanding the main issues of industrialization, such as innovation, climate, technical assistance and working conditions, and provide pointers towards some good practices. For example, the review explores the links between industry and climate, the challenges in the textile industry and the key policy issues for African industrialization. Two analytical articles and a case study in Morocco also focus on the impact and consequences of the Covid-19 crisis.