This background paper for the 1995 Global Forum on Industry focuses on issues to be considered by the countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in order to implement strategies for 2000 and beyond. In the context of the challenges posed to industrial policies by the potential changes in the international trade environment and domestic economic management strategies, the paper emphasizes supply-side strategies and the attainment of comparative advantage in both domestic and export markets for industrial output. The study concludes that while the lack of meaningful industrialization reflects past failures of economic policy, declining trade is the cause of lower productivity compared to faster growth regions. Structural adjustment programmes create short-to-medium problems of their own, which can cloud long-term growth prospects. SSA countries may learn from the experience of NICs which show that industrial policies can play a promotional role by judiciously targeting sectors that can best promote investment, technology transfer and the growth of total factor productivity.