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A framework for analysis of the potential impact and viability of the manufacture of photovoltaic systems components in developing countries is presented. At the small-scale, the potential of local manufacture to contribute to local livelihoods, and to have positive synergies that improve the installation, maintenance and use of PV systems for rural electrification is investigated through case studies and existing literature. The circumstances under which manufacture may be feasible and financially and socially sustainable are considered in the light of the evidence from the research and related literature. Interventions that may best support the local manufacture are suggested.