Assessing Regional Integration in Africa IV

Enhancing Intra-African Trade

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The publication seeks to address the pressing issues that are negatively affecting trade amongst African countries. It undertakes a comprehensive empirical analysis of intra-African trade to determine why it has remained consistently low over the past decades. The report proposes concrete recommendations, to be implemented by member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), members of the private-sector, and other stakeholders in Africa’s development. It also analyses the various policy issues and other factors that have affected intra-African trade.



Gender and intra-African trade: The case of West Africa

Formal and informal cross-border trade in West Africa has increased since the 1990s as a result of economic liberalization policies, population growth and urbanization. This expansion has been credited with deepening regional integration, improving economic growth and benefiting the population through employment, market and product diversification, increased outlets for goods produced and manufactured in the region and improvements in food availability (Salinger and Barry,1996; Morris and Saul, 2000). It has been suggested that sustained economic growth in West Africa will be increasingly driven by trade in non-traditional exports such as agricultural products, livestock, fish, handicrafts and manufactured goods. This implies the importance of strong connections between trade and other sectors of West African economies, particularly agricultural production and processing, fisheries and manufacturing (ECOWAS-WAEMU, 2006).


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