Ajede, Salamat A. Ph.D
Prospect and Challenges for Rapid Industrialization in South/ West, Nigeria. Poverty and hunger pose great challenges to human race particularly in Africa where a large percentage of the populace still lives in abject poverty particularly women. Efforts by successive governments in most African countries to address the challenges through one policy or the other have not yielded desired results. However, a veritable means of combating the challenge of poverty and hunger is through creativity and innovative skill acquisition which will spur industrial and technological growth. Similarly, there are positive correlational relationship between industrial/ technological growth and improved livelihood opportunities for people. The need to address the challenge of livelihood problems and boost rural agro-allied/ industrial growth was the force that led to the creation of the Ijebu Development Initiative for Poverty Reduction (IDIPR). How has IDIPR impacted on the livelihood opportunities of rural women in Ijebu land through the creation of jobs; what are the challenges impinging on agro-industrial growth in Ijebu land; what are the approaches that IDIPR has adopted to combat the above challenges, what are the policy framework of government aimed at enhancing the comparative advantage of the natural resources endowment of Nigeria to spur job creation and rapid industrialization? The paper addresses the above questions quantitatively and qualitatively in order to secure answers towards boosting sustainable industrialization for Nigeria and Africa in general. Findings show that the IDIPR has over the years significantly contributed to the growth of agro-allied industries in South/west Nigeria and more importantly the initiative has helped boost the livelihood potentials of rural women through the creation of jobs and hence reduced substantially poverty and hunger while at the same time improving health and wellbeing of both men and women.