The purpose of this paper is to review the industrial performance of African economies during the 1990s and to then discuss the principal reasons why this performance, particularly with respect to the manufacturing sector, continues to be so poor in the majority of countries. The discussion will be structured as follows. Section 1 outlines the broad objectives of industrial restructuring as these have been interpreted by the World Bank. Section 2 addresses the weaknesses of the main data sources that are generally relied upon in assessing the industrial sector. Section 3 reviews the performance of the industrial sector, looking specifically at the following indicators: output growth, share of GDP, the sectoral composition of output, private and foreign investment, exports, and employment and training. Section 4 then analyses the principal factors that have affected the performance of the industrial sector, focusing in particular on investment, exports, and productivity. Finally, in Section 5, the prospects for the industrial sector and the role of government policy are briefly considered.