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2007 AEC - Aid for Trade - Prospects for Enhancing African Trade Capacity
Successive rounds of multilateral trade liberalization have revealed the difficulties that many African countries face in reaping the benefits of more open markets. They suffer from supply-side constraints which prevent them from benefiting from trade liberalization. It is now realized that simply dropping trade barriers will not automatically increase the trade shares of African countries if they lack the capacity to produce and the infrastructure (e.g. power, telecommunications and transport) and administrative capacity ((e.g. improved customs arrangements) to take advantage of more open trade regime. To bolster trade and competitiveness, African countries require capacity enhancement, which will involve significant investments beyond what can be internally generated.