Trading Competitively

Trade Capacity Building in Sub-Saharan Africa

OECD Development Centre

The trade analysis and firm surveys conducted in several African countries in this study highlight an apparent mismatch between government policies and exporters’ needs in the provision and use of trade support services. While acknowledging the weaknesses of firms in these countries, the study does present evidence confirming the existence of a wide array of policy options for increasing business competitiveness and reducing dependence on primary commodities. Successful upgrading and diversification, however, require not only a right set of macroeconomic and structural policies, but also a substantial change in the policy-making process. A major governance problem undermines the implementation of a successful "business plan" for export diversification in these countries: the lack of involvement of private sector and civil society in policy formulation.

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