This paper, by Dr Ross Harvey and Pranish Desai, quantitatively examines SADC’s industrialisation trends, considering factors like South Africa’s weak performance and the impact of oil and mineral rents. It takes as its starting point economist Dani Rodrik’s (2016) concept of “premature deindustrialisation”, which it shows is a key factor driving youth unemployment in SADC economies. The phenomenon occurs when developing countries shift from labour-intensive manufacturing to low-value-added services at lower income levels than industrialised countries historically did. Manufacturing has traditionally driven employment growth and middle-class expansion, crucial for political stability (Acemoglu et al., 2019). A preliminary analysis shows contrasting manufacturing trajectories between SADC and non-SADC African countries, with SADC performing worse.