Morocco ranked second in the manufacturing index in Africa, after South Africa, due to its growing manufacturing and export operations, and it scored 0.83 points in the index, registering a slight decrease compared to 2020.
Despite the lower score, Rabat succeeded in securing second place after Tunisia’s ranking fell from second place in 2010 to fourth place in 2021. At the same time, South Africa maintained its first place during the past decade, with a score of 0.84 in 2021. , after it was 0.89 in 2010.
Morocco’s strong performance in exports, “allowed the country to become the second largest exporter of manufacturers on the continent after South Africa,” the report noted, adding that the country now accounts for 21.1 percent of total manufacturing exports in Africa, outperforming direct competitors such as Tunisia and Egypt.
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 African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification in Niamey, Niger.
Morocco’s growing manufacturing capacity and export volumes of electrical distribution equipment, cars, fertilizers and women’s clothing to Europe, the United States and Brazil helped Rabat secure second place in the performance sub-index with a score of 0.8, behind South Africa which scored 0.82.
Egypt, Tunisia and Eswatini were among the top five African performers, ahead of Mauritius, Equatorial Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In addition to evaluating economic performance, the index evaluated direct determinants such as labour and capital, as well as indirect determinants such as macroeconomic stability and existing infrastructure.
The competition between Morocco and South Africa for the first place was prevalent in the two indicators, as Morocco excelled in the direct specific aspects with a score of 0.83, while South Africa maintained its regional leadership in terms of macroeconomic indicators and physical and digital infrastructure.
The report noted that despite the strong performance of South African industries, North Africa is the best-performing sub-region. Three of its six countries rank within the top 10 of the index, with an average score of around 0.7.
The manufacturing index rates 52 African countries across 19 indicators. It also showed that 37 African countries were “the most industrialized over the past eleven years.”
Notably, as Africa moves towards more integrated regional ecosystems with the opening of the African Continental Free Trade Area, the continent is expected to boost its industrialization efforts.