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Economic Brief - Informal Cross Border Trade in Africa: Implications and Policy Recommendations


Despite being a source of income to about 43 percent of Africa’s population, informal cross border trade (ICBT) is generally regarded as illegal commercialization of cross border activities2. ICBT can have positive macroeconomic and social ramifications such as food security and income creation particularly for rural populations who would otherwise suffer from social exclusion. If properly harnessed, ICBT has the potential to support Africa’s on-going efforts at poverty alleviation.

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