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The underestimation of informal trade in the calculation of intra-Africa trade flows

According to the latest estimates, the level of intra-regional trade in Africa is equal to 16.1%. However, it is also well known that the African economy is largely informal and, therefore, there are high volumes of exchanges occurring at African borders that are not captured by official statistics of Customs or National Statistic Agencies. In this article, the United Nations EconomicContinue reading “The underestimation of informal trade in the calculation of intra-Africa trade flows”

Time for a Made in Africa brand?

The development of a system of voluntary certification and of a “Made in Africa” collective trademark is a solution that can allow African manufacturers to guarantee the reliability of their companies and products, helping such goods to enter more easily foreign markets, where they must match strict quality and safety requirements to which customers are becoming increasingly sensitive. One of the countries that has recently developed a “Made in” brand is Russia. Here,Continue reading “Time for a Made in Africa brand?”

Re-thinking the EU-Africa relations

The relations between Africa and the European Union are deeply rooted in history. Already in 1957, with Art. 131 of the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community (EEC), a system of association was created between the EEC and a number of countries classified as “Overseas Countries and Territories” (OCTs), listed in Annex IV of the Treaty, of which 18 were African. TheContinue reading “Re-thinking the EU-Africa relations”

Is democracy that causes peace… or trade?

The relationship between democracy and armed conflict, and inter-State conflicts in particular, has been explored by many scholars [1]. The idea that democracies rarely or never fight each other is often traced back to the theory of perpetual peace of Immanuel Kant, who in his essay “Toward Perpetual Peace” argues that democratic states do not fight with each other because ofContinue reading “Is democracy that causes peace… or trade?”

Importance of Standards Harmonisation for increasing intra-African trade

The technical report on “Identifying Priority Products and Value Chains for Standards Harmonization in Africa” jointly published in July 2020 by the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO) and the African Union Commission (AUC) highlights how the volume and complexity ofContinue reading “Importance of Standards Harmonisation for increasing intra-African trade”

AfCFTA Protocol on Women in Trade: a tool for supporting women-led enterprises

The AfCFTA Agreement is commonly defined as a “deep agreement”[1], because it aims at promoting a deep level of integration that goes beyond trade, with provisions covering various policy areas such as services, intellectual property rights, investment and competition policy, e-commerce, most of them being still in course of negotiation within the context of specificContinue reading “AfCFTA Protocol on Women in Trade: a tool for supporting women-led enterprises”

Political risk as a deterrent to industrialization of Africa

Many agree that the construction of the African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can be an important opportunity for advancing the industrialization of the African continent[1], as the newly established Free Trade Area (FTA) will offer opportunities to both African and foreign investors to establish productive units in one or more African countries from where they can serve the marketsContinue reading “Political risk as a deterrent to industrialization of Africa”

‘Bad trade’ and risks of stifling local production in Africa

John Cary, a prominent British merchant and writer on matters regarding trade, wrote between the end of ‘600 and the beginning of ‘700 two manuscripts where he argued that a trade model based on the export of raw materials/commodities and import of manufactured/industrial goods has a destructive effect on the economy of the nation exporting raw materials, as it stiflesContinue reading “‘Bad trade’ and risks of stifling local production in Africa”

The 3-color card trick in Africa and a possible continental vehicle insurance scheme

Many African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have adopted regional motor vehicle insurance schemes to cover third-party liabilities and medical expenses for the drivers in case they suffer any bodily injury as a result of a road accident. The advantage of such schemes is that they facilitate cross border movement of vehicles between States, as drivers can travel within these Regions withoutContinue reading “The 3-color card trick in Africa and a possible continental vehicle insurance scheme”

AfCFTA: focus on tariff or non-tariff barriers?

Apart from elimination of tariffs between the African Union (AU) member States (which means elimination of import duties and other levies on imported goods), another objective of the AfCFTA is the elimination of non-tariff barriers (NTBs). NTBs are generally defined as all those restrictive regulations and procedures, other than tariffs, that make more difficult and/or costly to import or export products. Among these measures there are importContinue reading “AfCFTA: focus on tariff or non-tariff barriers?”