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
Over the past seven years, the African Union (AU) has emerged as a central actor in regional level efforts to improve natural resource governance. As African economies grapple with the negative impact of the commodity price fall – including dimmer growth and job creation prospects over the medium term - the AU has an opportunity to reinvent itself as both thought-leader and harmonizer in resource governance initiatives. This is key for a coherent structural economic transformation across the continent.
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?
Services trade matter for growth, development, gender equality and job creation for countries in Africa. They are also key inputs in the production of important exports and food staples, yet inefficiencies along their value chain can contribute to high prices: in Ethiopia, services account for about 80 percent of the final price of roses, one of the country’s key export products – similarly, between 60 and 75 percent of the price of teff, Ethiopia’s staple food grain, comes from services inputs.
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.
The US- Africa African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, which took place from September 22-26, 2016, in Washington DC, USA, was an opportunity for both African countries and the US to reflect on the gains made under AGOA to date. This was especially important as indications point to the current iteration of AGOA being the last one ahead of a new trade dispensation between the US and Africa from 2025 onwards, punctuated by reciprocal trading relations.