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Economic Development in Africa Report 2013

Inter-African Trade - Unlocking Private Sector Dynamism

image of Economic Development in Africa Report 2013
This report argues that for African countries to reap developmental gains from intra-African trade and regional integration, they need to place the building of productive capacities and domestic entrepreneurship at the heart of the policy agenda for boosting intra-regional trade. It also analyzes the range of strategies and complementary policies that will be needed, besides trade policies, to ensure that regional integration enhances African enterprise development and economic development in general. It explores, among others, the role of national and regional industrial policy and the scope for developing regional development corridors. Lessons are drawn from other developmental regional experiences.

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Boosting Intra-African trade in the context of developmental regionalism

This chapter begins with the recognition that boosting intra-African trade cannot be done in isolation. To be successful and have maximum impact, it has to be part of an overall strategy to promote private sector development and regional integration in Africa. In this context, the chapter considers the basic tenets for promoting private sector development and boosting intra-African trade within the framework of developmental regional integration. It explores the defining features and scope of developmental regionalism and compares it to the predominant paradigm of market-led regional integration that is characterized by a specific focus on the reduction of tariffs and the elimination of other border measures that inhibit cross-border trade in Africa. A brief review of African integration reveals that, although there are elements of a developmental integration agenda in some subregions, a comprehensive, coherent developmental integration agenda has yet to be developed and implemented.

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