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
Next time you pick up sporting gear or a pair of jeans in a U.S. mall, do check the label. It may have been made in Lesotho, a small, mountainous and land-locked country completely surrounded by South Africa, with a population of around two million.
Ten years is a very short time in the global economy, and by all accounts a decade is all that is left of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). While the United States’ unilateral preferential access programme for Africa has been reauthorized three times since it began in 2000, it looks very unlikely to be extended beyond 2025.
According to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-2013, the highest ranked university in Africa, the University of Cape Town, is 113th in the world. The ranking system employs 13 performance indicators that take into account universities’ core functions, including “research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
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.
Power trading in Africa started in the 1950s, in the form of bilateral agreements between Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. This trade involved a 500 kV high voltage DC power supply that was 1,700 km in length. Other bilateral agreements followed in different parts of the continent until the development of the first power pool. The Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) was created in 1995. It is now the most advanced power pool on the continent.
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