Trade between developing countries – so-called ‘South-South’ trade in merchandise exports has now reached a record $4.7 trillion (in current prices) in 2012. This is a highlight of the fact that total world merchandise exports have more than tripled over the last 20 years to reach $18 trillion. These figures have recently been published by UNCTAD in its Handbook of … Continue reading

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African free trade area by 2017?

African leaders are now calling for a continental free trade area, a measure which is backed by a new World Bank report which shows that African countries are losing out on billions of dollars in potential trade earnings due to high trade barriers with neighbouring countries. The Bank found that it is easier for Africa to trade with the rest … Continue reading

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How can Africa’s agriculture boost development through trade?

Why has Africa become a net food importer? This was the question raised by Pascal Lamy, director general of the World Trade Organisation, at a conference entitled “Harnessing Agriculture for Development through Trade” yesterday. This conference was based on a publication produced by the CUTS International resource centre. Lamy pointed out that Africa became a net-food importer in the 1980s, … Continue reading

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Can economic growth in Africa be fuelled by rapid increases in population?

I have just read an interesting blog by Wolfgang Fengler on one of the World Bank’s websites. He notes the fact that Africa’s population is rising rapidly and will soon pass the one billion mark. In fact the UN’s projections expect this to rise to 1.7 billion by 2050, although this is based on declining fertility, and Fengler believes that … Continue reading

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Concern at expected fall in overseas aid this year

 Aid to developing countries in 2010 will reach record levels in dollar terms after increasing by 35 per cent since 2004. But it will still be less than the world’s major aid donors promised five years ago at the Gleneagles and Millennium and five additional summits. Though a majority of countries will meet their commitments, the underperformance of several large … Continue reading

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Why aid to Africa must increase

 I came across this blog yesterday by Shanta Devarajan, the Chief Economist of the Africa Region at the World Bank, and thought that it would be good to copy it in full. “In rich countries, when economic growth declines by three or four percentage points, people lose their jobs and possibly their houses, but they regain them when the economy … Continue reading

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