VIENNA, Nov 26 (IPS) – Industrial development in Africa has been sluggish for some decades. Now, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic kick in, hopes for better progress, at least in the short term, appear to be fading. But if countries grasp the right opportunities, the next decade can deliver the industrial change needed to meet the challenges ahead. Industrialization and development go hand in hand. There is hardly a country in the world that has developed without building a strong manufacturing base. But for Africa – sometimes referred to as the continent of the future – the fruits of industrialization have often seemed just out of reach.