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West African Papers

The West African Papers series explores African socio-economic, political and security dynamics from a regional and multidisciplinary perspective. It seeks to stimulate discussion and gather information to better anticipate the changes that will shape future policies. The series is designed for a wide audience of specialists, development practitioners, decision makers and the informed public. Papers are available in English and/or French, and summaries are available in both languages. Initiated by the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) to highlight and promote West African issues, the work presented is prepared by its Secretariat, Members and partners, other OECD departments, related international organisations, associated experts and researchers.

English French

Incentives and Constraints of Informal Trade Between Nigeria and its Neighbours

The scale of unrecorded trade across the border between Nigeria, the region’s biggest economy and market, and its francophone neighbours is particularly high. Despite providing economic incentives, informal trade entails costs, complications and sometimes risks. This paper explores how policy choices and government actions continue to drive informality and the critical steps that might be taken to create a business environment that is more conducive and supportive of trade between West African neighbours on a formal basis. It goes on to examine the steps that have been taken since 2015 regarding trade promotion by West African states and considers the options for further policy action and public investment.

English

Keywords: informal trade, regional integration, regional markets, trade network, border co-operation
JEL: O1: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economic Development; F4: International Economics / Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance; Q1: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Agriculture; F1: International Economics / Trade
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