Silicon Valley, one of the world's economic engine, runs a very simple model: incubators. Entrepreneur Magazine defines incubators as:
Organizations geared toward speeding up the growth and success of startup and early stage companies. They're often a good path to capital from angel investors, state governments, economic-development coalitions and other investors.
To put it in laymen's term, incubator are places that provide entrepreneurs with the tools and expertise to grow their businesses. Furthermore, although they can be created by governments, the most successful ones are privately owned by investors who have experience working in the same industry as the entrepreneur: they are best placed to provide appropriate tools and advice.
The concept of incubators also works for industrial production. They would consist of fairly large buildings that would house specialized machinery that locals can rent to manufacture their goods. Manufacturing requires multiple steps and some of these steps might be done outside of the factories. The factories would just ensure that locals have access to equipment and electricity to perform value-adding tasks when required.
In the case of woodworking in Africa for instance, the government would sign a partnership with a manufacturer of woodworking machines. It would ship the machines to a city and provide technicians to ensure proper maintenance. The factory owner would then make money by training locals and rent out machinery hourly to locals.
There could be factories for woodworking (rural or urban | flooring, furniture, cabinets, construction), food processing (rural | juice, putting it in bags, freeze dry...), textile (urban | knitting, sewing machines...), repair shops (urban | bicycle, cars, motorcycle), stoneworking (urban | tombstone, construction), art (urban | sculptures, paintings...) 3D printing machines...
This model would address many of the obstacles to growth in Africa:
- Unstable electricity: Factories would run 24/7 and would be guaranteed electricity either through the grid, generators or batteries (Tesla Batteries). The cost of electricity would be included in the rental fees, and price surges may apply when emergency generators are used.
- Transfer of technology: Manufacturers need a lot of different machines to perform all the tasks needed to build their goods. Local manufacturers cannot afford to buy all these machines, but they can rent them until they have money to have their own factories. Factory owners would also be incentivized to train locals to ensure that all the machines are used and used properly.
- Networking: Regions that are dominant in manufacturing have their whole population working on one product to consolidate marketing efforts and to ensure that they are as close as possible to suppliers (i.e. watchmakers in Switzerland, Christmas decoration workers in China, or car makers in Detroit). Having locals meet under the same roof to produce similar products will kick-start manufacturing hubs across Africa.
- Marketing: Locals would be able to pool resources for marketing and clients would have a place to go to buy the product.
- Financing: Factory owners would effectively enter into a lease agreement with local manufacturers.