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Industry Modern forms of economic development need very large amounts of fuel and power. Africa supplies only about 10% of the total world output of crude oil and natural gas.

Industry in Africa

The north African oil field is not well situated to supply to the Sub-Saharan parts, and natural gas production is meant for European market.

The coal deposits are of wide occurrence. Except South African Republic and Rhodesia, other countries are minor producers. The total output is about 54 million metric tons a year. The water power resources are greater than those of any other continent.

The rivers of Africa are useful for local transport but not suitable for large-scale and long distance movement. Zaire offers 9600 kin, of navigable waterway. Short lengths of railway bypass,. and regular powered river services are in operation. Steep scarp slopes of the plateau and thick vegetation prove serious difficulty in road or land transport.

Railways have provided the means of transport. Specially for mining areas. As the cost of construction is high the railways have been built in areas in which assured freight would justify the high constructional and operating costs. It is this cost factor responsible for disconnected appearance of railway pattern in Africa.

The road development stimulated the economic progress by providing the feeder roads and market facilities for new farming communities. Its growth is mainly because of community efforts.

Manufacturing industries require skilled labour, which is not often available. Large amount of capital is not easily available. As mentioned above the transport system is not well developed. South Africa is highly industrialized. Expansion is on the heavy industry and metal industries. The other industries are chemicals, clothing, footwear, textiles, machinery and electrical equipment. Rhodesia has made good progress with its heavy industry, textiles and clothing, and its processing industries. Egypt (textiles) Algeria and Morocco (foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco) are other areas of manufacturing. Cairo and Alexandria account for more than two-thirds of the factories in the whole of Egypt while in Morocco, Casablanca accounts for nearly 75% of the factories. Mineral oil and natural gas industries are concentrated in Southern Nigeria.

Manufacturing industries showed 8% increase per annum. The reasons are growing market demand and increasing urbanization, greater development of 'linked' industries, increasing substitution of nationally manufactured goods for imports, growing export of manufacturing and semi-manufactured goods.

Next: Fisheries of Africa

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