Issues arising from pooling resources and integrating economies
Integrating Africa is the AfDB Group’s blog on regional integration in Africa. It chronicles the issues arising from African countries’ efforts as they work to pool resources and integrate their economies for the development of their regional and individual economies. Read More
Throughout the price boom of the 2000s, extractive resources (mining, oil and gas) were seen as assets that African Governments needed to leverage more effectively for development outcomes. This view has persisted even through the current price slump that began in 2011.
Despite the recent signing of the Tripartite Free Trade Area between the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Africa remains the most fragmented continent in the world, with 54 countries and very low levels of intra-regional trade, which stood at 16.2 percent in 2013, according to the World Trade Organization.
Encouraging signs on AGOA renewal in Washington, but poultry debate presents a hurdle to be overcome
With just months to go before the expiration of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), discussions have been heating up in Washington, DC on how to proceed with a renewal. Policymakers in Africa and the US have indicated for years the importance of extending the legislation well before its September 2015 expiration, noting that orders of African goods in certain sectors, like textiles and apparel, must be made nine months in advance.
Last month, from January 19 to 23, the African Union mission, in collaboration with the African Ambassador Group of Washington, DC and the African Development Bank with the support of the Africa Trade Fund project on boosting US-Africa trade, hosted a high-level delegation of African Ministers of Trade focused on promoting the expeditious renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) – a key component within the architecture of US-Africa trade.
Following the recent African Union (AU) Trade Ministers Conference held in Addis Ababa from December 4-5, 2014, we consider it opportune to discuss what 2015 may hold for progress towards establishing the Continental Free Trade Area.