The Non-Classical Structural Economic Transformation of Sub-Saharan Africa:
Urbanization with Premature Deindustrialization

John Ssozi and Elise Howard
Baylor University



While economic growth rates have increased in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the subcontinent remains with the highest levels of poverty, the lowest productivity, and the least structural economic transformation. Empirical evidence demonstrates that urbanization is increasing, but both the agriculture and manufacturing shares of income are either stagnant or declining. The transition into a modern industrial economy is constrained by not only international competition and the poor business climate, but also the low participation in the global value chains. The paper argues that growth in agricultural productivity is necessary but not sufficient for industrialization. Successful structural economic transformation in the SSA demands proactive increase in international connectivity, human capital, institutional quality, efficiency, andregulatory standards.The paper recommends deeper regional economic integration in SSA to enhance regional value chains in manufacturing. Download the full article