Economic Development in Africa 2008

Export Performance Following Trade Liberalization - Some Patterns and Policy Perspectives

image of Economic Development in Africa 2008

This year’s report examines Africa’s export performance after trade liberalization in order to draw lessons for use in the design of future development strategies. It identifies Africa’s weak supply response as the most important impediment to the continent’s export performance, suggesting that future export policies should focus more on ways to increase production for export. The publication proposes some policies that could help Africa to refocus its development priorities on structural transformation in order to increase the continent’s supply capacity and export response.

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Trade liberalization and export performance: Trends in Africa

Seen in a historical context, Africa’s trade has gone through three distinct phases. Prior to the early 1960s, when many African countries gained independence, African trade policy was defined by the colonial Powers. Trade was essentially a two-way relationship between African countries and their metropoles, whereby primary commodities were exported and manufactured products imported. The trade structure of African countries during this period was driven by the interests of the colonial Powers.

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