John Page on industries without smokestacks

MOOC lecture with UNIDO in New York

John Page on industries without smokestacks

On 19 November, John Page gives a presentation on industries without smokestacks at an event co-organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and UNU-WIDER, in collaboration with the Regional Programme for Africa, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the International Trade Centre (ITC).

This event is part of a series of lectures delivered by Brookings Institution Senior Fellow and UNU-WIDER Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow, John Page, on industrialization in Africa. The series is based on a decade of work by UNU-WIDER inspired by three questions: why is there so little industry in Africa? Does it matter? What can be done about it?

The lectures are filmed and will form part of an internationally produced MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) to be released be UNU-WIDER alongside a documentary in 2019. The landmark series includes lectures at the UONGOZI Institute in Dar Es Salaam, the African Economic Research Consortium in Nairobi, the Department for International Development in London, the London School of Economics, and UNU-WIDER in Helsinki.

The MOOC is part of the UNU-WIDER project, in partnership with the Brookings Institute on Jobs, poverty and structural change in Africa.

Lecture: Industries without smokestacks – the road less taken


Historically, manufacturing has driven structural change. Today, new technologies have spawned a growing number of services and agro-industries, including horticulture, that share many characteristics in common with manufacturing. They are tradable, have high value-added per worker and can absorb large numbers of moderately skilled workers. Like manufacturing, they benefit from technological change, productivity growth, scale, and agglomeration economies. These are ‘industries without smokestacks’, and this lecture explores their potential role in spurring structural change.