Effects and Positive Solutions of Industrialization
Meaning of Industrialisation
‘lndustrialization’ is a deliberate policy by governments to create many industries in a country. The process of industrialization involves the production, increasing use of machinery and power tools, as well as the use of improved technology in production, all of which lead to a higher level of output of industrial goods.
Problems of Industrialization
- Inadequate capital: Adequate gapital cannot be mobilized for industrial expansion due to low savings and inadequate collaterals required for borrowing from banks.
- Poorly developed infrastructure: Facilities such as water supply, electricity, roads, etc. which are essential for any meaningful industrial deveIopment are not adequately developed.
- Small size of markets for industrial goods: The low level of income and the small size of the population of some countries make the total demand for goods small. This discourages industrial expansion.
- Shortage of skilled industrial manpower: The high level of illiteracy, coupled with the little emphasis on the science and technical subjects in the past, have resulted in a shortage of manpower that is suitable for industries and reliance on foreign skilled manpower has had its shortcomings.
- Political instability: Many West African countries experience frequent changes in government and internal crises, thereby discouraging both local and foreign investments.
- Political influence and government policy: The government at times causes industries to be located in areas where they may not be viable.
- Unattractiveness of manufacturing industries to indigenous businessmen: Many businessmen in West Africa prefer being distributors and dealers since many want quick returns on their investments. Industrial projects with long gestation periods do not attract them.
Suggested Solutions to the Problems of Industrialization
- Provision of more capital for investment: This can be achieved by encouraging people to form the habit of saving in financial institutions and cooperatives.
- Improvements in basic infrastructure: Better roads, more reliable water and electricity supply and improved means of communications, etc. have to be provided by government and firms.
- Enlarging the size of the market for industrial goods: This could be achieved by pursuing measures aimed at increasing the level of real income of the population. In addition, the existing market could be enlarged by fully exploiting the nation’s market potentials. l
- Manpower and Management Training: Supply of skilled manpower should be sustained through fuller utilization of existing tertiary institutions.
- Creating a More Stable Political Climate: a corrupt-free leadership and a properly mobilized followership could help to create a stable political climate, which will help to produce a conducive investment environment.
- Removal of administrative problems and unfavourable government policies: Adoption of favourable government policies would encourage investors.
- Protection of infant industries: The use of import controls such as quotas and outright bans, etc would encourage the infant industries at home to grow to maturity.