Industrialisation and Trade Corner
Harnessing productive sectors’ through value chains to enhance intra-African trade and regional integration
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
In the final quarter of 2016 South Africa participated in two critical global economic governance summits as the lone continental representative: the 11th G20 summit hosted by China and the 8th BRICS summit hosted by India. Both hosts placed e-commerce on the agenda, signalling a desire to engage on the topic. Meanwhile, on the multilateral front the WTO is exploring new trade issues beyond the Doha Development Round, in which e-commerce features firmly. But what does this all mean for Africa?
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.
The African Development Bank estimates that illicit financial flows have drained in excess of a trillion dollars from Africa since 1980. These flows undermine the tax base, damage political institutions and exacerbate inequality. With major momentum behind global counter-measures, there are clear opportunities for progress at the regional level – including through stronger information exchange and cooperation, tax base harmonization and innovative uses of trade data.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is the primary legislation that defines the U.S.-Africa commercial relationship. The benefits provided by AGOA have allowed for an average of around 70 per cent of all imports from Sub-Saharan Africa to enter the U.S. duty-free since the enactment of the legislation. While AGOA has been successful in providing duty-free access, it still leaves a great deal to be desired regarding the promotion of sustainable economic gains for the continent. Understanding where AGOA has been successful and considering how to enhance its impact is important, especially at this time when its renewal is being debated and requires decisive action over the next 12-18 months.
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