Meaning of industry and Industrialization

Definition of Industry and Industrialization

Industry: The term industry refers to a group of firms that produce broadly similar goods or offer broadly similar services e.g. all the firms producing cement belongs to the cement industry.

The firm on the other hand refers to an independently administered business unit that carries out production, construction, or distribution activities or offers services. e.g. University Press Plc, Osondu Bottling Company Ltd. ‘Industrialization’ is a deliberate policy by governments to create many industries in a country.

The process of industrialization involves the production increasing use of machinery and power tools, as well as the use of improved technology in production, all of which lead to a higher level of the output of industrial goods.

Types of Industries

Industries can be classified in various ways. We shall concentrate on those forms of production which use machinery and power tools in production.

(a) Mining industry: This comprises all those
forms of production which deal with the
extraction of mineral resources such as
petroleum, coal, limestone, etc. from the earth’s crust. The mining industry belongs to a class of extractive industries.

b) Manufacturing industry: This comprises all forms of production which transform materials into finished and semi-finished forms e.g. breweries, textile firms, etc.

c) Construction industry: This comprises all
forms of production which deal with the assembling of components and the transformation of materials
to structures that are usually long-lasting e.g. the construction of houses, bridges, dams, etc.

d) Transportation industry: It comprises those
forms of production which help in the movement of goods and persons from one place to another e.g. transportation by road, vehicles, trains, aircraft, etc.

(e) Electricity industry: It consists of all the forms of production which generate electrical energy using sources such as water, gas, coal, petrol, etc.

Stages of Industrialization
Several stages can be identified in the
industrialization in West Africa.

(a) Traditional crafts industries: This was the
earliest stage which was in existence before
colonization by the Europeans. The industries in
this category include those that engage in mat-making, pottery, metalwork, cloth weaving, leather works, etc.

(b) Processing industries: They use the earliest form of modern industries to develop. They help to process agricultural and mineral products for export. They include cotton gins, sawmills, palm-oil processing industries, etc.

(c) import-substituting industries: After
independence, many West African countries set up industries to produce certain goods that were being previously imported. 

This was partly aimed at conserving foreign exchange to improve the balance of payments. Examples include those which produce soft drinks, textiles, detergents, cement, etc.

d) Assembly industries: As a way of further
reducing the outflow of foreign exchange and developing indigenous technology, several industries import parts from abroad
and assemble them locally.

 Examples include those that assemble cars and trucks, machinery, electronic equipment, etc.

Location of Industry

The location of the industry is the siting of an
industry in a particular place due to the presence of certain factors that favorite establishment.

Factors affecting the location of

The factors which account for the location of industries include:
(1) Easy access to raw materials: An industry that uses bulky raw materials may be located where it is easy to obtain its raw materials e.g. the cement theory at ewekoro.

(2) Proximity to market: An industry which
produces bully and perishable goods maybe
located near a market for easy disposal of
finished products, furniture industry,
(3) Nearness to the source of power: Location near a source of power may lower the cost of power consumption.

(4) Presence of other firms or industries: An
the industry may be cited where other firms’ industries exist to reap external economies.

(5) Government Policy: The government may
influence an industrial location for some
reasons. It may be to discourage the location of industries in already congested areas, to ensure a more even distribution of industries, or for a political patronage oil refinery in Kaduna.

(v) Availability of goods, transportation, and
communication facilities: Industries may be
located where these are available and cheap. A good means of transportation is required for

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