We have to distinguish between three different areas of the African continent, because industrial development and growth rates are distinctly different between them:

  • North Africa
  • Republic of South Africa
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
Development in the first two areas is stronger than in the third area, as the data in the tables show.

​ ​ ​ ​Tassi di crescita medi annui % del valore aggiunto
​ ​ ​Africa Sub - Sahariana escluso il Sud Africa
​Africa SS
​Nord Africa
​Africa SS
​Nord Africa
Africa SS
Nord Africa
fonte: Banca Mondiale

Sub–Saharan Africa (660 million inhabitants) is an area where poverty is particularly rife: the World Bank estimates that the per capita income is $306 per year, compared to $1,569 in North Africa.
This is why the CKD concept spread in North African countries (Libya, Tunisia and Morocco) and in South Africa in the 1960s, well before it spread in other countries South of the Sahara such as Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya and Congo, excluding Nigeria where FIAT was present from the 1970s.

So we could say that only a few African companies were able to make a place for themselves on international markets, but opportunities to export and to compete are often frustrated by a number of factors:
- High cost of collecting information about potential purchasers and distribution channels, about quality standards and new technologies.

Development policies should therefore procure these services, which are for the good of the community, without dictating that they must be supplied by the state organisation, thus encouraging the private sector.

What is more, it is essential to have access to funding (and microcredit initiatives also play their part) and infrastructure: warehouses and ports, communications networks.

Numerous small businesses complain about the uncertainty of ownership rights, the lack of certainty about standards, the unreliability of judicial powers, the excessive power of bureaucracy, traumatic changes of government, and corruption and discretionary power in the exercise of political influence.

Taxes on investment assets can be even more damaging, and in some cases they impact more on small businesses than on larger entities, because a large business can find it easier to take advantage of any available incentives.
Economic policy, which is directed at a fairer distribution of the wealth of the territory, could encourage the creation and growth of companies capable of mastering increasingly complex techniques, thanks to the demand for infrastructure.
The evolution of demand from higher income social groups could bring an increase in sales of consumer durables by foreign companies that operate through dealers capable of expanding after-sales service to customers and maintenance activities, right down to the manufacture of components.