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
When thinking about regional integration in Africa we often think first of trade policy, telecommunications, ICT, and road infrastructure. But on a continent larger than China, India, the US, and Europe combined, air transport is inevitably going to play a key role in facilitating integration. For Africans to interact and do business with each other, they need to get there.
The adoption of the Bali Package on December 7, 2013 generated no small amount of euphoria among trade officials that gathered at the 9th Ministerial of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO claims that the deal will generate between $400 billion and $1 trillion in global trade. But with dust settling from the Ministerial meeting, we briefly examine here what the Bali Package really means for Africa in the area of trade facilitation – which lies at the heart of what was agreed.
Industrialization has become the buzzword for Africa of late, but that must be set against the reality of the present situation. As is usually the case, The Economist succinctly sums up the African trading position with “Africa is a continent rich in minerals and oil. China has an economy that requires them in abundance. Since the mid-1990s the economy of sub-Saharan Africa has grown by an average of 5% a year. At the start of this period Africa’s trade with China was negligible. It is now worth around $200 billion a year. Most of Africa’s exports are raw materials. China sends manufactured goods back in return.”
A regional approach to infrastructure development is potentially transformative. We have heard of the large hydropower potential of the Inga Reserve in DRC. This national resource has significant regional implications and could be a game-changer for the African electricity market, with the potential to singularly nearly double the electricity generation capacity of the continent’s largest power pool, while adding cleaner and cheaper electricity to the grid. But four decades after the commissioning of Inga 1, a mere 4% of the available potential has been harnessed.
Be thy Neighbour’s Keeper: Avoiding the Resource Curse in Eastern Africa Through Regional Cooperation
Eastern Africa is the new fossil fuel frontier. In the last few years Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Mozambique have discovered large quantities of commercially viable oil and gas deposits, with the potential for even more discoveries as more aggressive prospecting continues. There is reason to be upbeat about the region’s economic prospects over the next three decades, or at least before the oil runs out.
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