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Are high trade barriers affecting trade in Africa? by Chofor Che, 19 July 2012

19 Jul

A recent World Bank report argues that African countries are losing billions of dollars in potential trade earnings every year due to high trade barriers.

According to the World Bank report, it would be more convenient for African countries to trade with the rest of the world, rather than trade among themselves. Some African leaders view this World Bank stance as a far cry from their expectation and are calling for a continental free trade area by 2017 to boost trade within the continent.

Following a release sent to the Ghana News Agency, the World Bank said , ‘these high trade barriers lead to regional trade fragmentation which deprives the continent of new sources of economic growth, new jobs, and sharply falling poverty, factors which accompanied significant trade integration in East Asia and other regions’.

The release added that the cross-border production networks that played an important role to increase economic growth particularly in East Asia, is yet to materialise in Africa.

It announced that the conclusions of the World Bank’s report which were of particular pertinence for Ghana would be presented at a forum where analysis of the barriers to trade provoked by lack of implementation of commitments promised by Economic Community of West African States in the region, would be analysed.

The release said participants at the event would be expected to discuss policy responses to address these barriers, simplify and improve transparency of trade procedures in the region, and improve intra-regional collaboration among government agencies that intervened in trade procedures.

“In particular, the presentation will focus on how these barriers impact on ordinary traders in Ghana when trading with Nigeria,” this release added.

It is indeed time for African leaders to rethink as one mind and voice, the porous economic policies, especially policies related to trade barriers resulting to the continent’s abject poverty. Attaining the Millennium Development Goals under such circumstances, is not possible.  Serious lessons must be grasped from the successes registered in Asia.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

One response to “Are high trade barriers affecting trade in Africa? by Chofor Che, 19 July 2012

  1. choforche

    July 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Phil Johnny [Practicing Corporate Executive at Flonergy, China ] wrote: With regard to International trade, its clear that all Countries in Africa have been seriously stifled by the west in a rather deliberate way. Those who actually understand whats going on will agree that there are UNFAIR existing trade Barriers especially in the western world which Africa unforttunately has to contend with. The west seems to show concern but in reality, they are not willing to break the unfair barries and ease the difficult trade imbalances which Africa is experiencing. There is quite a lot of manipulation going on, geared towards protecting their interest and making it rather difficult for others. This is unfair and UNETHICAL. We do understand that there is a greater need for Africa to establish long-term trade ties with the west. However when that happens, much is not likely to change in terms of trade barries.
    China, the second largest trading nation has existing trade tensions with the US as a result of high trade barries, and WTO is looking into the matter. Ofcourse US has to protect its local Entrepreneurs and Manufacturers but there are still quite a lot of bad practices that the Western world is involved in which is obviously stifling Africa’s export potential and sadly, this not helping.
    My kind suggestion to African business & political leaders is for them to come together and act in a thorough & sincere way regarding Trade and Investment. They need to take serious and effective measures geared towards improving the Continent. They need to convince themselves that Africa can do far better and even get closer to great China PROVIDED THE WILL & COMMITMENT is there. China, 50 years back was in a struggling struggling. Today, the situation has changed drammatically. It can happen in Africa, but the people have to come together and act in a more sincere, commited and willing manner.[
    N. B.[One very SERIOUS PROBLEM with African leaders is this: They are not yet ready to make sacrifices on behalf of their people. There is much greed, selfishness carelessness in terms of the general attitude.] As long as the WILLINGNESS & READINESS is not there, CHANGE is not likely to come.

     

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