Gabon, the Central African country where industry has grown the most in ten years, according to a joint AfDB-AU-UNIDO report

The timber industry has grown dramatically in Gabon in just a decade © ARR

Gabon is the country that has recorded the strongest progress in terms of industrialisation in Central Africa between 2010 and 2021, according to the « Africa Industrialisation Index 2022 » report published on 24 November by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). On a continental scale, it ranks 12th. The result of a successful economic strategy.

With a score of 0.5834 in 2021, Gabon is ahead of Equatorial Guinea (0.5666), which in 2010 was among the ten best performing countries on the continent. These two countries are followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo (0.5646), Congo (0.5322) and Cameroon (0.5300), while Chad (0.4178) and the Central African Republic (0.4018) close the ranking. In Africa, Gabon is ranked 12th.

« Gabon has experienced steady industrial development since 2010, moving up 6 places in the IIA ranking. The decline in oil reserves has encouraged the government to prioritise other sectors. It has focused on upgrading its timber industry by exporting products in higher value-added forms, notably plywood and veneer. Gabon also has a booming agri-food sector, » the report says.

In addition, the country « has created special economic zones where companies benefit from tax advantages and simplified customs procedures. Gabon recently attracted a $50-100 million incremental investment in a high-quality furniture factory in Libreville, » the report continues.

The African Industrialisation Index (AII) provides a comprehensive overview of the progress made by 52 countries in Africa over the past 11 years in industrial development. It is based on 19 indicators: manufacturing performance, capital, labour, business environment, infrastructure and macroeconomic stability. Within this framework, a score is assigned to each of the countries surveyed on a scale from 0 (worst) to 1 (best).

On a continental level, South Africa remains the most industrialised country on the continent over the period 2010-2021 with a score of 0.8404, followed by Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritius and Swaziland.