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Discuss the factors controlling the site of manufacturing industries


Discuss the factors controlling the site of manufacturing industries



1. Raw Materials
The basis of the manufacturing process is the conversion of an existing product into a
more useful or valuable form. Thus raw materials are very important for the manufacturing
industry. Raw materials differ in terms of weight, bulkiness and perishability. What is most
crucial to an industrialist is the cost of accumulating raw materials at a particular location. Some industries (e.g. sugarcane, cement, soda, ash, - in East Africa for example), use large amounts of heavy and bulky raw materials. In this case the cost of the transporting the raw material is higher than that of the finished product. Ordinarily such industries are located near the source of the raw material. If the raw material is highly perishable breakable or fragile (e.g. fruits) than the finished product the industry is located near the source of the raw material. These are what referred to as raw material oriented industries. However, if the raw materials are small in quantity, light in weight or of high value (e.g. gold, diamond and ruby) transport costs may be low and a raw material location will not be necessary. In the latter case the cost of the manufactured product is high enough to pay for the transportation and processing of the raw materials.

2. Available Markets
It is important for the finished products to reach the consumer on time. Since the products
cannot be delivered to the consumers at their doorstep, the industry can be located near or at an urban centre where people can access it. However, markets are not just a question of numbers, but also of earning capacity of the populations and of their willingness to spend. Unless a population can make effective demand of the products then industries cannot develop. Some types of industries are more market oriented than others. These are the industries dealing with perishable finished products (e.g. industries producing bread, cakes, dairy products); fragile finished products (e.g. bottled drinks, glassware); goods that are bulk and of a low value (brick making and tile-making industries); industries that involve much personal contact with customers (packaging industries, tailoring, printing and publishing); industries producing raw material for other industries (automobile component manufacturing) and industries requiring
small quantities of raw materials.

3. Transport Networks
The availability of a good network of transport is another deciding factor in the location
of industries. Raw materials must be moved to the industries and the finished products must be
dispatched to the markets. Thus a prospective industrialist must take into consideration the cost of transportation. Unlike in the developed world where transport and communication networks are well established and in most cases transport costs are not only relatively low but also form a very insignificant fraction of the total production cost; in Africa means of transport and communication network are poorly developed. As a result freight charges are very high and usually take up a big share of the cost of production. Under such circumstances transport becomes an important deciding factor to be taken into consideration before one makes up their mind about the place where to locate their industry. Thus an industry will be located where the cost of assembling raw materials and the cost of distributing the finished goods to the market put together is lowest.
The economic development of virtually all African nations has been hindered by
inadequate transport systems. Most countries rely on road networks that are frequently composed
largely of dirt roads, which become impassable during the rainy seasons. Road and rail networks
built during the colonial era tended to link the interior of a country to the coast; few provided cross-country links internally, or links with adjacent countries. Since independence, however of important trans-African routes have been built providing road and rail links, notably for the landlocked countries. Most African nations support a national airline and there has been much improvement in recent years in coordinating timetabling. Rail and shipping systems are best developed in Southern Africa.

4. Local Supply of Labour
An adequate labour force is essential in the initiation and continuance of an industry. But
the actual number of people required in an industry varies between different industries.
Obviously capital-intensive industries will require less labour. The question a prospective
industrialized should ask themselves is: what type of labour do we need? Some industries
demand specialized and highly skilled workforce (watch-making, diamond cutting, and aircraft
manufacturing industries). Such skilled labour demands high salaries and good working
conditions. Btu the good thing about skilled labour is that it is highly mobile and can move to the industries once given the assurance that its demands will be met. Other industries require semi-skilled labour. The semi-skilled workers are fairly mobile especially in countries where their demand is high. However, the bulk of labour force in most industries consists of unskilled workers. These are the least moveable because the demand for their skills are low except in the developed countries. In the developing countries, unskilled labour is abundant and in most cases the supply exceeds demand, hence the low salaries/wages awarded to this group of worker. But due to the increasing shortage of employment opportunities, unskilled labourers are now assuming a certain degree of mobility. It is also worth noting that labour can easily be transported to any part of a country where it is demanded.

5.Starting Capital
Without capital, industries cannot be set up. Capital is required to purchase land, where
the industry will be set up, raw materials, office equipment and build offices; to hire labour as well as for promotion of the finished products. The initial capital outlay can be enormous
although this will depend on the type of the industry being set up. But availability of capital may not be a strong location factor. This is because capital is very mobile, people will invest where there are possible rewards regardless of the nature of the physical environments.

Capital is however very crucial in determining the prosperity of an industry. We have
heard of cases where industries have been closed down because the available capital has been
mismanaged or misappropriated.

6. Political Policy
Governments play an important role in the location and development of industries in a
country. Through policy formulation, governments can encourage or discourage the development
of industries in a country or in a certain region within the country. For example it can decide
where the industries will be located through decentralization policies in countries where
industries have been concentrated in one or a few areas of the country. This may be done in order to open up the underdeveloped parts of the country and to reduce overcrowding in some parts of the country. Governments may also have clear-cut policies discouraging the setting up of industries in certain parts of the country. Fro example it would not be wise to set up any other industries in National parks except tourism-related ones.

7. Operational Energy
All industries require power for manufacturing processes. Natural gas, petroleum and
electricity are the main types of power used in the production of energy for industrial purposes in Africa. These forms of energy are easily transmitted through high-tension wires or by tankers or pipelines to industrial sites. Thus, power is not a strong location factor in Africa.

It is important note that power was a strong location factor when coal was the only source
of power. Because coal was heavy and bulk and hence expensive to transport, industries had to
be located within a short radious of the coalfield. That’s why most of the industries in Germany where concentrated within coal producing areas such the Ruhr coalfield which is also the Rugr industrial area.

8 Trade
Traditional industrial areas usually have a strong pull factor and continue to attract new
industries because of third well-established economies of scale. Such economies of scale
include:- good transport and communication network, available markets, availability of certain
skills, cheap storage facilities, affordable construction costs etc. The failure of an industry to move from one are to another when, locational advantages and disadvantages change is called
industrial inertia. Prospective industrialists would enjoy better economies of scale by locating their business for example within already established like Johanneburg, Cairo, Lagos, Lusaka industrial centers.

9 Industrial will (inertia)
The economies of most African stats rely heavily on one or a few export commodities.
The bulk of trade occurs with industrialized nations, which requires raw material and sell
industrial and consumer goods. Trade between African stats is limited by the competitive, rather than complementary, nature of their products and (to a decreasing extent) by trade barriers, such as tariffs and the diversity of currencies, and the fact that most are not “hard:. That is they are legal tender only within their own countries, so most trade is carried out in US dollars or pounds steering. Most former colonies in Africa continue to have loose trade relations with the United Kingdom and keep monetary reserves in London. Most former French colonies have maintained closer ties with France, and the majority are members of the Franc Zone. In addition, most African states have economic community of Centre African States, the most successful are the Southern African Development Community and he common market for astern and southern Africa. The organization of African unity also promotes intra-African trade and economic development. African is also known for the material products. These include:

(A) Energy
Some countries such as Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, and Angola are major world producers of
oil, and several other African Countries are also oil exporters, including Gabon. Africa’s natural –gas exports are centered in Algeria. Coal production is concerted mainly in Zimbambwe and South Africa, although many other countries have sizeable reserves (such as Botswana), which awaits development because of a lack of markets. The bulk of Africa coal production is used internally. Most Africa countries must import fuels, especially petroleum and oil. The oil price rises of the 1970s were disastrous for many of them, precipitating many of the balance of
payments and debt problems which undermined their economies in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Although Africa has some 40 per cent of the world hydroelectric power potential, only a relatively small portion ha been developed owing to high construction costs, inaccessibility of sites, and their distance from markets. Since the 1950s, however, a number of the world largest
hydroelectric installations have been built in Africa; these include the Aswan high Dam on the
River Nile, the Volta Dam on the River Volta, and the Kariba and Cabora dams on the Zambezi,
the huge Highlands water scheme under construction in Lesotho also has a hydroelectric power

(B) Mining
Mineral extraction provides the bulk of African export earnings, and extractive industries
are among the most developed sectors in most African economies,. Almost half of Africa’s
mineral income comes from chromium, asbestos, coal and copper. Other lading mineral-
producing countries include Libya (oil) Nigeria (oil, natural gas , coal , tin), Namibia (diamonds, uranium) Algeria (oil, natural gas, iron ore) and Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (copper, cobalt, lad, zinc), Zimbabwe (gold, asbestos, coal, chromium, iron ore, and nickel) and Ghana (gold, bauxite and diamonds). Oil is also found along the Western African
coast, in the Gabon basin, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and

A significant production of Uranium mind world-wide comes from African, chiefly in
South Africa, Niger, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and
Gabon. The largest radium supply in the world is located in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo. Some 20 per cent of the world’s copper reserves is concentrated in Zambia, the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The Democratic Republic of
the Congo and Zambia also posses about 90per cent of the world known cobalt, and Sierra Leone
has the largest known titanium reserves. Africa produces some three- quarters of the world gold; South Africa, followed by Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ghana, are
the major producers. The mines of Botswana, south Africa, Namibia, Angola and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo produce the majority of the worlds gem and industrial diamonds. Iron ore
is found in all parts of the continent. Most of Africa’s mineral wealth has been and is being
developed by large, multinational corporations (MNC0. Increasingly, in recent years, African
governments have become substantial shareholders in the operations within their own countries.

Titany answered the question on January 18, 2022 at 06:03

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