Manufacturing industry refers to the turning of both organic and inorganic raw materials and substances into finished or new products by mechanical or chemical processes at home (cottage) or in the factory.

  • Processing industries: These are industries that are directly involved in turning of iron ore into iron and trees into timber.
  • Fabricating industries: These industries are involved in putting together of different components to form new products. A typical example of this is the turning of iron into girders and wire and timber into furniture.



  1. African manufacturing industries rely on imported skilled labour from foreign countries or multinational corporations.
  2. Most industries in Africa also depend on foreign countries for their raw materials and substitute imported goods.
  3. Industries are concentrated in few locations, especially in urban centres.
  4. Most manufacturing industries are mainly light industries.
  5. These industries are also labour intensive, i.e. they require large labour force to operate.
  6. Emphasis is on the production of consumer goods.
  7. Their products are mainly consumed in the mainly markets.
  8. Manufacturing industries are largely small scaled.



Manufacturing industries in the world can be grouped into three main classes:

  • Light industries
  • Consumer goods industries
  • Heavy industries


  1. These are secondary industries which produce relatively light weight goods such as matches, television sets, fans, books, pencils, e.t.c.
  2. They employ the services of mainly women.
  3. They are found mainly in Tropical African countries e.g. Nigeria, Ghana, e.t.c.
  4. They usually make use of materials which have already been partially processed.
  5. Examples are the leather industry, food industry, textile industry, printing and publishing industry, industries that produce household goods, e.t.c.


  1. These industries deal with turning of raw materials into consumable goods.
  2. They employ both males and females.
  3. They produce goods like meat, dairy products, beer, coffee, spirits, e.t.c.
  4. They are normally located in cities e.g Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna, e.t.c.


  1. They are also secondary industries.
  2. Products are heavy or bulky.
  3. They employ the services of mainly males.
  4. Examples include metallurgical, petroleum and ship building industries.
  5. They are found in Europe, U.S.A, Germany and Japan.



Heavy and light industries differ from one another in a number of ways. These include:

  1. Heavy industries are usually large-scale in nature while light industries are relatively small in plants and products.
  2. The products of heavy industries are usually heavy e.g. ships, airplanes, iron and steel, etc. While products of light industries are light e.g. cigarettes, bread, razor blade, office pins, etc.
  3. Usually the turnover of heavy industry is heavy, while it is small in light industries.
  4. Heavy industries employ the service of more males while light industries may employ the services of more females than male.




  1. These industries are concerned with the extraction of raw materials provided by nature.
  2. They are also called extractive industries.
  3. Examples include mining, fishing, lumbering, farming and livestock production.



  1. These industries turn raw materials into consumable or finished goods.
  2. Examples include construction, building, textile, ship building, Iron and steel and chemical industries.



  1. These are concerned with the rendering of services.
  2. It could be direct services like trading, banking, teaching, medical and transportation.
  3. It could also be indirect services like the work of the police, custom, soldiers, navy, etc.



  • Proximity to the source of raw materials
  1. Many industries are raw materials oriented especially if the raw material is bulky and weight is lost during processing. Bulky products like cement should be close to source of raw materials to reduce the cost of transportation.
  2. Perishable goods like fruits, palm oil industries, etc. should be located near their raw materials.


  • Nearness to Markets
  1. There should be ready market for the products of any industry to be sited in a place.
  2. Fragile goods like glass, bulky goods like cement and other perishable goods should be located near the markets.
  3. Nearness to market reduces the cost of transportation and meets high demand by consumers.
  4. Such industries located or directed towards the market are called market oriented industries.


  • Nearness to source of Power
  1. There should be ready and dependable source of power.
  2. Source of power could be by electricity, coal, thermal, petroleum products, etc.


  • Availability of Capital
  1. There should be enough capital to purchase industrial inputs before setting up industries.
  2. Entrepreneurs should have access to loans.
  3. Fixed capital should also be easily acquired.
  4. Industries which use heavy machines or require large capital for their operations are called capital intensive industries.


  • Availability of Labour
  1. There should be high quality skilled labour.
  2. There should also be enough unskilled labour.
  3. Industries which require large labour force are called labour intensive industries.


  • Adequate Transport Network
  1. Transport is required essentially to move raw materials to industrial sites.
  2. Transport is also required to convey finished goods to the market or areas of consumption.


  • Political Stability
  1. A Stable government encourages industrial growth.
  2. It also attracts foreign investors.
  3. Political instability scares off foreign investors.


  • Government Policies

Government can encourage the location of industries through certain policies like:

  1. Granting credit facilities to industrialists.
  2. Creation of industrial zones in the country.
  3. Provision of infrastructure like electricity, pipe borne water, roads, etc.
  4. Granting of tax incentives or holidays to potential industrialists or industrial set up.








The Rhineland of Germany, the Ruhr, Paris, Lancashire, Midlands etc.


New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles etc.


Toronto, Hamilton and Montreal.


Mosco (Gorki region).


Hoshu- Japan.

South East Australia

     Sydney and Melbourne.


  • The Pittsburgh Industrial Region of Eastern U.S.A

The factors which have favoured the growth of this great industrial region include:

  1. Abundance of raw materials like coal, iron ore, limestone, petroleum, natural gas for engineering, chemical, glass making, automobile, etc. greatly enhances the growth of industries in this region.
  2. Power from coal, thermal and hydroelectricity aides industrial growth.
  3. The existence of excellent natural communication of the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior) and the St. Lawrence River has contributed to the growth of industries.
  4. Immigrants from Europe and other parts of the world swell the labour market with expert workers.
  5. The large market provided by the heavy or large population within and outside the region also promotes industrial growth.
  6. The central location of this region enables it to be accessible from different parts of the world.


  • The Ruhr-Westphalia Industrial Region of West Germany

The factors which have favoured the growth of this great industrial region include:

  1. Presence of coal, iron ore and limestone promotes industrial growth especially in iron and steel industry.
  2. Abundance of skilled labour from within and outside Germany also contributes to industrial growth.
  3. Use of modern machinery improves the standard and quality of products and enhances greater production.
  4. The presence of a large and favourable market also contributes to the growth of industries in this region.
  5. Availability of clear and soft water obtained from the Rhine river is used for transportation, dyeing and bleaching of textile materials.
  6. The water transport provided by the Rhine river, presence of roads, railways, etc. also help in the collection of raw materials from the source and conveying finished products to all parts of Germany.


  • Industrial Region of Southern Japan
  1. The proximity of this region to mainland Asia provides a large market for Japanese finished goods.
  2. Although Japan has no petroleum, with little coal, industrial growth has been promoted through the use of hydro-electricity as the major source of power.
  3. The presence of ports like Yokohama, Osaka, Kobe, etc. has aided rapid exportation and importation of goods in and out of the country.
  4. Good policies formulated by the Japanese government like importation of machinery and provision of technical training have also speed up industrial growth.
  5. The hardworking attitude of the Japanese through long working hours with minimal pay also aides the growth of industries.
  6. The presence of raw materials like copper, manganese, iron ore, limestone coupled with the imported ones like cotton, rubber, wool, petroleum, etc. has promoted industrial growth.



  1. The presence of high population in urban centres provides a wide market for industrial products.
  2. The high population also provides both skilled and unskilled labour for the industries.
  3. Urban centres are provided with well-developed transport network like roads, railways, etc.
  4. Nearness to seaports and airports also contribute to the siting of industries in urban centres.
  5. Easy access to loans from banks located in cities also contributes to concentration of industries in the cities.
  6. The presence of electricity, pipe borne water, telephone, etc. also contributes to the concentration of industries in urban areas.



Concentration of industries in an area is referred to as localization of industries.


Advantages of localization of industries

  1. It leads to inter-dependence of industries.
  2. It creates employment opportunities.
  3. It also leads to mobility of labour.
  4. It leads to the provision of social amenities.
  5. It encourages healthy competition among industries
  6. It leads to inventions and innovations due to competition among industries.
  7. It leads to the development of organized market e.g. cooperative societies.
  8. It leads to attraction of subsidiary industries in the area.


Disadvantages of localization

  1. It leads to congestion of traffic, industries and housing.
  2. It can also lead to shortage of social amenities.
  3. It causes uneven development especially in areas where industries are not found.
  4. It can cause structural unemployment due to low demand for industrial goods.
  5. It can escalate crime rate like armed robbery, car snatching, etc.
  6. It can cause environmental pollution due to the presence of many industries.
  7. The area is made the target of attack during war crime.
  8. It also leads to rural-urban migration.



  1. Development of rural areas.
  2. To discourage rural-urban migration.
  3. Provision of employment to skilled and unskilled labour.
  4. Increased production of goods.
  5. Increased earnings for the rural people.
  6. It also encourages urban-rural migration.



  1. Industries provide employment (jobs) for many people.
  2. Industrial sector through their operations like payment of taxes increases the earning accruing to the nation.
  3. The establishment of an industry in a place stimulates the development of infrastructure like road, telephone, electricity, pipe borne water, etc.
  4. The industrial sector provides capital for the funding of education and research work in all nations.
  5. Industrialization can also lead to the transfer of technology from the developed to developing countries.
  6. Industrialization has led to the conservation of foreign exchange which would have been used for importing goods now produced locally.
  7. Industrialization also leads to the improvement or raising the standard of living of the people through production of goods that are cheap and affordable.



The following factors hinder, limit or are responsible for the relatively low level of industrial development in Tropical Africa.

  1. Lack of sufficient raw materials available to industries hinders large scale production.
  2. Access to finance or loan is very difficult. Capital (i.e loan) is only easy for the big time investors, who possess collateral securities, to secure.
  3. Most products made in Africa are of low quality when compared with their counterparts in developed countries. Hence, people rely or depend on foreign goods.
  4. Large scale poverty in African countries makes people have low purchasing power.
  5. Because of the high quality of foreign goods, local goods produced by our local industries are usually not patronized.
  6. Corruption, embezzlement and negligence of duty are common in African countries and these are indicators of poor management.
  7. Tropical African countries do not have large markets that can accommodate industrial goods produced.
  8. Frequent changes in governments and incessant civil wars in African countries discourage foreign investors.
  9. Poor quality of industrial labour (large pool of illiterate population) provides the personnel for our industries.



  1. Industrial banks should be set up to provide loans to industrialists.
  2. There should be good government policies to protect local industries.
  3. Management courses should be organized at regular basis for workers.
  4. Infrastructural facilities such as roads, telephones, water, electricity, etc. should be built and maintained.
  5. There should be increase in wages/salaries of workers in industries to boost their morale and increase productivity.
  6. There should be stable government in order to attract foreign investors.
  7. There should be exploitation of raw materials locally for industries.