China designed and executed a policy that shrank the industrialization process in a mere 25 years — something that many economies took at least a century to do. That redesign has brought immense dislocation in global commerce and industry, enabling China to become one of the world’s leading economies.
China’s success has led many African capitals to pursue the country’s same industrialization trajectory. Over the last few years, African leaders have been pursuing policies designed to mimic the path China took. Some of these policies include creating special economic zones after China’s Shenzhen and positioning the manufacturing sector as a fulcrum to attract investments and create new jobs. Despite these efforts, Africa has yet to advance in its industrialization at the same speed China did.
中国的成功使许多非洲国家的政府都在追寻同样的工业化路径。 过去几年，非洲领导者一直在推行旨在效仿中国的方法，包括建立像中国深圳一样的经济特区，并将制造业定位为吸引投资和创造新就业的支点。 尽管做出了这些努力，非洲的工业化进程仍达不到中国的速度。
Put simply, the things that worked for China will not work for Africa.
China had already won sizable global manufacturing, accounting for more than 32% of the world’s industrial production as of May 2019. It became the world’s manufacturing capital through a combination of factors, including optimal infrastructure and price-competitive local manufacturing talent. In doing so, China created a well-differentiated comparative advantage that made companies from the U.S. and Europe — and later, other parts of the world — outsource manufacturing activities to China.
截至2019年5月，中国已经赢得了相当规模的全球制造业份额，占全球工业生产的32%以上。 通过一系列因素的综合作用，包括优化的基础设施和具有价格竞争力的当地制造业人才，它成为了全球制造业之都。 在这一过程中，中国创造了一种高度差异化的比较优势，使得美国和欧洲的企业（后来还有世界其他地区的企业）将制造活动外包给中国。
For more than three dozen years, a virtuous circle was created: The availability of demand from the U.S. and Europe provided China the opportunity to invest to meet its needs. And over time, China moved from basic manufacturing into advanced manufacturing domains, where state-of-the-art technologies are used to improve processes and many lower-skill processes are automated. Consequently, China has improved its capabilities in robotics and broad emerging technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. Today China is recognized as a leading AI player.
三十多年来，一个良性循环形成了:美国和欧洲为了满足自身需求而向中国投资，从而为后者提供了机会。 随着时间的推移，中国从基础制造业转向先进制造业领域。 流程中使用的都是最先进的技术，而许多低技术水平的操作已经被自动化代替。 由此，中国提高了机器人和许多新兴技术的能力，如虚拟现实、增强现实以及人工智能。 如今，中国被公认为是人工智能方向的领先玩家。
It is in these technological advancements that China can continue to dominate while Africa may struggle. AI is expected to distort the equilibrium of the global labor market, eliminating many factory jobs. Most Western companies will use AI to do most of the manufacturing jobs that they are currently outsourcing to China. Indeed, AI will create a massive shift in how products and services of the 21st century are developed, manufactured, and distributed.
正是这些技术的进步让中国可以继续占据主导地位，而非洲则会因此而陷入挣 扎。 人工智能预计将打破全球劳动力市场的平衡，导致许多工厂里的工作岗位消失。 大多数西方公司将使用人工智能来完成它们目前外包给中国的大部分制造业工作。 实际上，21世纪的产品和服务的开发、制造和分销方式会将会受人工智能的影响而发生巨大转变。
If the manufacturing jobs by global entities like Dell, HP, and Siemens do not need to be outsourced, the expected opportunity Africa is banking on may not materialize. African leaders have expected that as China rises further, its wage levels will create disincentives for global manufacturers to continue sending work there. As that happens, they hope countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Kenya can be seen as reliable alternatives that provide affordable labor with enough infrastructures for basic manufacturing.
如果戴尔、惠普和西门子等全球实体的制造业工作不再需要外包，非洲所期待的机会可能不会实现。 非洲领导人曾预计，随着中国进一步崛起，其工资水平将阻碍全球制造商继续向中国输送工作机会。 在这种情况下，他们希望埃塞俄比亚、卢旺达和肯尼亚这样的国家能够被视为可靠的替代方案，提供负担得起的劳动力和足够的基础设施用于基础制造业。
But with AI advancements decreasing outsourcing, the availability of cheap wage becomes irrelevant. China understands that, and is investing heavily to win the race of advanced manufacturing, tapping into the capabilities it acquired by making things for the world. If any outsourced manufacturing will remain, it is the advanced manufacturing. Based on available reports, Africa is not preparing for that level yet, as it continues to struggle with basic enablers like electricity, challenges that many countries solved many decades ago.
但随着人工智能的进步，外包减少，廉价劳动力变得无关紧要。 中国明白这一点，并通过大举投资在先进制造业的竞争中赢得先机，守住为世界制造产品所需的能力。 如果说未来存在任何外包制造，那一定是以先进制造的形式。 由目前的情况来看，非洲还没有为达到这一水平做准备，因为它还在受电力等基础设施的困扰，许多国家几十年前就解决了这些挑战。
Africa can find the paths to industrialization, but in ways that do not mimic China’s. Here are some of the paths for the continent; some are already in progress and need to be deepened:
Africa should build processes to improve internal consumption, rather than focusing on using cheap labor as a comparative advantage for global manufacturing. If Africa expands internal consumption by trading more among member states, decoupling from old colonial trade routes, it can industrialize, as it has sizable markets to support the growth of companies. Today, the share of intra-African exports as a percentage of total African exports is about 17%, well below the 69% recorded for Europe and 59% for Asia. Improving intra-African commerce will advance the continent.
非洲应该建立提振内部消费的流程，而不是把重点放在利用廉价劳动力作为全球制造业的相对优势上。 如果非洲通过增加成员国之间的贸易来扩大国内消费，摆脱旧的殖民贸易路线，它就可以实现工业化，因为它有相当大的市场来支持企业的增长。 今天，非洲内部出口占非洲总出口的比例约为17%，远低于欧洲的69%和亚洲的59%。 改善非洲内部贸易将促进非洲大陆的发展。
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which entered its operational phase on July 7, will remove some inherent barriers for intra-continental trade that have caused most African countries to favor trade with European countries and other global counterparts, rather than with African nations. The agreement has been designed to make goods produced in Africa move within the continent at negligible tariffs. The expectation is that manufacturers will be incentivized to invest in Africa in order to have access to the integrated market. If it works as planned, the trade agreement will be a catalyst to African industrialization.
7月7日起已经进入运营阶段的《非洲大陆自由贸易协定》将消除非洲大陆内部贸易的一些固有壁垒。 这些壁垒导致大多数非洲国家倾向于与欧洲国家和其他全球国家进行贸易，而不是与非洲国家进行贸易。 该协议的目的是让非洲生产的商品以极少的关税在非洲大陆内部流通。 协议希望激励制造商在非洲投资，以便进入一体化市场。 该贸易协定如果能按计划实施，将会成为非洲工业化的催化剂。
The planned currency got a boost when a regional economy, the Economic Community of West African States, announced plans to launch the ECO as a regional currency in 2020. The expectation is that once regional economies have monetary union convergence, a continental-level monetary union will be formed. A single currency will reduce barriers in trade by eliminating multiple exchanges, wherein currencies have to be converted to one of the leading global currencies, like the U.S. dollar, euro, or British pound sterling, before trading in Africa. This drastic reduction on trade frictions will boost industrialization.
西非国家经济共同体宣布，计划在2020年发行名为ECO的地区货币。 人们的预期是，一旦各地区经济体都形成货币联盟，就会促成一个覆盖非洲大陆的货币联盟。 单一货币将消除多次货币兑换过程，从而减少贸易壁垒。 在此之前，非洲国家之间的交易必须将货币兑换成美元、欧元或英镑等全球主要货币之一。 贸易摩擦的大幅减少也将促进工业化。
There are risks to these structural redesigns, however, which must be managed. A union arising out of the single currency will require a supranational bank to coordinate monetary policies, depriving member countries of individual flexibility on areas of monetary policies. The implication is that some bigger economies will have undue influence on the performance of the union. Without careful management, the smaller economies affected could experience welfare losses, making them worse off than before the integration.
但是这些结构性改革存在风险，必须加以管理。 由单一货币产生的联盟将需要一个超国家银行来协调货币政策，从而剥夺成员国在货币政策领域的灵活性。 这意味着，一些较大的经济体将对联盟的表现产生过大的影响。 如果不谨慎管理，受影响的较小经济体可能会遭遇福利损失，使它们的境况比一体化之前更糟。
In its 2019 African Economic Outlook, the African Development Bank wrote that “trade costs due to poorly functioning logistics markets may be a greater barrier to trade than tariffs and nontariff barriers.” Africa needs more deep seaports, railway lines, airports, and other critical enablers of modern commerce in order to advance. It remains more expensive for an operating factory in Accra, Ghana, to import coffee from Rwanda than from a Paris-based company, for instance. And most exports outside Africa are unprocessed raw materials that, because of supply chains and the disparate natures of the markets, have not stimulated local processing. Investment in infrastructures will close the gaps.
非洲开发银行在其2019年的《非洲经济展望》中写道，“物流运转不良导致的贸易成本，可能是比关税和非关税壁垒更大的贸易壁垒。 ”“非洲需要更多的深水港、铁路、机场和其他现代商业的重要推动者，才能取得进步。 例如，对加纳阿克拉(Accra)一家运营中的工厂来说，从卢旺达进口咖啡，仍然比从巴黎的公司进口更贵。 出口非洲以外的产品大多数都是未经加工的原材料，由于供应链和市场性质的不同，这些原材料没有刺激当地的加工业发展。 基础设施投资将弥补这些差距。
Africa also needs to invest in education to compete and advance its citizens so that it can boost internal consumption. The continent must make primary and secondary education compulsory — and free — while boosting quality by committing more resources to education. Unless Africa can educate its citizens to compete with the best in the world, it will struggle to rise.
非洲还需要在教育方面进行投资，以提高其公民的素质，从而促进国内消费。 非洲大陆必须使小学和中学教育成为义务教育和免费教育，同时通过投入更多资源来提高教育质量。 除非非洲能够教育其公民与世界上最优秀的人竞争，否则它将难以崛起。
As robotics and AI advance, most countries will keep their production processes at home, eliminating the need for cheaper labor abroad. In this redesign, Africa’s competitor is not China; robots and AI are the real competitors. Africa can no longer depend on global manufacturing to become industrialized, nor can it simply mimic China’s policies. But if Africa educates its citizens, integrates effectively on trade and currency, and improves intra-African trade, its industries can compete at least to serve its local markets. Where that happens, Africa can attain industrialization faster by scaling indigenous innovations and utilizing AI as enablers.
随着机器人和人工智能的发展，大多数国家将把生产流程留在国内，从而消除对海外廉价劳动力的需求。 在这次重新规划中，非洲的竞争对手不是中国，而是机器人和人工智能。 非洲不能再依赖全球制造业实现工业化，也不能简单地模仿中国。 但是，如果非洲教育其公民，有效地在贸易和货币方面进行整合，并改善非洲内部的贸易，其产业至少可以为当地市场服务而竞争。 在这种情况下，非洲可以通过扩大本土创新和利用人工智能，推动其更快地实现工业化。