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The causes, course and consequences of the unilateral declaration of independence [UDI] by Southern Rhodesia have generated a large scholarly literature. Less frequently accounted for is the growth of the Colony's secondary industrial sector, for a time the most sophisticated in Africa north of the Limpopo. Almost entirely lacking is analysis of the relationship, structural and political, between the two. Without an already existing secondary industrial base, UDI would have been impossible if not unthinkable. While some attention has been paid to the political attitudes of industrialists, no serious attempt has been made to identify the composition, capitalization, ownership, or product range of the manufacturing sector in the first half of the 1960s. In placing the two side by side, this article seeks to cast new light on the business and political dynamics shaping Central Africa during the era of decolonization.