Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Investments in infrastructure – transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology – are crucial to achieving sustainable development and empowering communities in many countries. It has long been recognized that growth in productivity and incomes, and improvements in health and education outcomes require investment in infrastructure
Technological progress is the foundation of efforts to achieve environmental objectives, such as increased resource and energy-efficiency. Without technology and innovation, industrialization will not happen, and without industrialization, development will not happen. More investments in high-tech products that dominate the manufacturing productions will increase efficiency and a focus on mobile cellular services will increase connections between people.
Is development always the answer?
Basic infrastructure like roads, information and communication technologies, sanitation, electrical power and water remains scarce in many developing countries.
• Already slow manufacturing growth has plummeted as a result of the pandemic
• Least developed countries have seen significant growth in coverage of mobile-broadband signals, from 51 per cent in 2015 to 79 per cent in 2019. However, just 54 per cent of the global population actually use the Internet. Most of the offline population live in LDCs, where only 19 per cent use the Internet, compared with 87 per cent in developed countries. Key reasons for this large gap are the cost of using the Internet and the lack of necessary skills.
• For many African countries, particularly the lower-income countries, the existing constraints regarding infrastructure affect firm productivity by around 40 per cent.
• Industrialization’s job multiplication effect has a positive impact on society. Every job in manufacturing creates 2.2 jobs in other sectors.
• Small and medium-sized enterprises that engage in industrial processing and manufacturing are the most critical for the early stages of industrialization and are typically the largest job creators. They make up over 90 per cent of business worldwide and account for between 50-60 per cent of employment.
• Least developed countries have immense potential for industrialization in food and beverages (agro-industry), and textiles and garments, with good prospects for sustained employment generation and higher productivity (Is this likely to benefit the local population?)
• Middle-income countries can benefit from entering the basic and fabricated metals industries, which offer a range of products facing rapidly growing international demand
• In developing countries, barely 30 per cent of agricultural production undergoes industrial processing. In high-income countries, 98 per cent is processed. This suggests that there are great opportunities for developing countries in agribusiness. (Is this an improvement?)
(We need to ask ourselves whether these templates are really beneficial for all social groups, and whether the climate can sustain these kinds of development.
This goal should include protection of groups who do not wish to change, and whose way of life is threatened by aggressive developers around them, e.g. Brazil.)