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
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.
Since July 2013, the presidents of three East African Community (EAC) countries (Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda) have been holding monthly summits to discuss regional matters, to the exclusion of Burundi and Tanzania, the two other members of the Community. Given that the monthly summits of presidents is not a policy organ of the EAC but merely gives general and political course, it is safe to assume that the reasons behind the sub-group’s talks are imbued in politics.
Africa’s economic landscape has changed considerably over the last twenty years. After two decades of sustained economic growth, Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP is almost $1.5 trillion. Its middle class rose to 350 million people in 2010, up from 126 million people in 1980 and in 2010, consumer spending stood at approximately $600 billion.
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.
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