Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

Roads, electric power lines and water pipes, as well as mobile phone networks are all part of the infrastructure of a country, and can be seen as the arteries of the economy. A lack of infrastructure and poor infrastructure are obstacles to development.

This is why many less developed countries have practically no industry. Industry, but also agriculture, needs an extensive and stable infrastructure to produce and transport goods. Time and time again infrastructure projects are implemented around the world – but many are not planned on a sustainable basis, which can end up have extremely negative impacts on surrounding communities and the natural environment. Poor, and excessively expensive internet denies people access to important information. Economic growth or technical innovation are then effectively precluded.

What must be done?

Sustainable industrialisation does much to generate economic growth and create jobs. ‘Sustainable’ means ensuring that a minimum of important natural resources are used and that environmentally friendly technologies are adopted. Companies can only do this, however, if they can take out loans and if they have access to attractive markets. In the rural parts of many developing countries in particular, there is thus an urgent need to expand infrastructure, but not at the expense of the environment or the local people. By 2020 as many people as possible around the world are to be enabled to use the internet as a ‘gateway to the world’. Research and innovation must be constantly fostered.

Facts and figures

  • In many African countries the lack of infrastructure makes companies about 40 per cent less productive.
  • Less than 30 per cent of the rural population of the least developed countries have access to internet via third generation (3G) mobile broadband networks.
  • Investment in research and development has risen in recent years – in developed regions the figure has risen to 2.4 per cent of GDP, and in the least developed and landlocked developing countries to less than 0.3 per cent.

9.1 Improve infrastructure

Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all

9.2 Sustainable industrialisation

Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries

9.3 Increase integration into value chains for small-scale companies

Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets

9.4 Environmentally compatible and efficient industries

By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities

9.5 Research and innovation

Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending

9.a Support for infrastructure for developing countries

Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States

9.b Technology and innovation in developing countries

Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities

9.c Access to ICT and internet

Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020

“Over the last ten years, I have noticed a huge advancement when it comes to Morocco's development. People’s living standards have increased tangibly. The infrastructure, which is highly significant for a country’s development, has improved considerably.”

Source: Alumniportal interview

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