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Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
Aid for Trade: African Perspectives
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Aid for Trade: African Perspectives

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By Cornelius Mwalwanda, UNECA - Brussels, 5 December 2007

By Cornelius Mwalwanda, UNECA - Brussels, 5 December 2007

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • 1. Aid for Trade: African Perspectives by Dr. Cornelius T. Mwalwanda Principal Advisor and head United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Geneva Advisory Services
  • 2. Outline of Presentation
    • Background
    • Aid for Trade Africa Regional Review
    • Priorities from regional breakout sessions.
    • Cross-cutting issues with respect to Africa
    • Roadmap for Africa in Aid for Trade
  • 3. Background
    • Africa as a region remains at the margins of the world economy and global trade
    • Africa’s share of world output is still marginal and it’s share of world trade still below 2%
    • Millions of Africans still live below the poverty line (at less than $1.00 per day)
    • Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) could up lift millions from poverty
  • 4. Background (Continued)
    • Despite recent impressive growth rates, the continent still lags behind other regions
    • The need to integrate African economies into the global economy and trading system becomes an imperative
    • Raising Africa’s competitiveness and reducing transactions costs are essential for integration in the global economy
    • Africa can benefit from globalization and the opportunities generated
    • Aid for Trade an be an important catalyst
  • 5. Aid for trade Africa Regional Review
    • The Dar review was organised by UNECA, ADB, WTO and Government of Tanzania.
    • Broad participation.
      • 34 African Ministers of Finance and Trade.
      • Key donors and international agencies.
      • Private sector.
      • More than 400 participants.
  • 6. Key issues Discussed
    • Integration to global economy a central objective.
      • Will generate necessary resources for social priorities.
      • Small size of national and even sub-regional markets make international trade indispensable.
    • While indispensable, openness not sufficient.
      • Stronger supply-side capacities; lower trade “costs”; improved connectivity to markets needed.
      • “ Internal barriers” such as poor infrastructure, inefficient customs, unreliable supply chains; high energy costs impede competitiveness at the factory floor.
  • 7. Key Issues Discussed (continued)
    • Africa needs access to modern “infrastructure” for transport; customs; and standards testing labs.
    • Regional approaches critical to optimal results.
    • Political leadership and commitment the key.
    • International community should play supporting role
  • 8. Regional Breakout Sessions
    • Regional integration critical to Africa trade growth.
    • Discussions centered on case studies from 6 RECs (COMESA, EAC, SADC, ECOWAS, ECCAS, UMA) .
    • That supply-side constraints were regional in nature was underscored due to smallness and landlockness.
    • Benefits of regional approaches identified in:
      • infrastructure, capacity projects, planning mechanisms and financing.
  • 9. Regional Breakout Sessions West and Central Africa Selected Issues
    • High trade costs, weak institutions and fragmented infrastructure key obstacles.
    • But region has on-going liberalisation and integration initiatives including in NEPAD context.
    • Investment climate not optimal for business – dialogue needed between gov’t and private sector.
  • 10. Regional Breakout Sessions: West and Central Africa Priorities
    • Human and institutional capacity building including of RECs.
    • Infrastructure development especially transport and utilities.
      • AFT should build on what has been identified already as much as possible.
    • Assistance with adjustment costs of liberalisation.
  • 11. Regional Breakout Sessions: Eastern and Southern Africa Selected Issues
    • Region has comprehensive programs e.g. the North-South Corridor Initiative encompassing trade facilitation, and connectivity infrastructure.
    • Challenge: Mobilizing adequate implementation resources.
    • Private sector needs to be more involved in prioritization.
  • 12. Regional Breakout Sessions: Eastern and Southern Africa Priorities
    • Trade facilitation.
    • Transport infrastructure.
    • Deepening of regional integration to overcome constraints of small and landlocked markets.
  • 13. Regional Breakout Sessions: North Africa Selected Issues
    • Regional integration not deep enough – low intra-UMA trade for instance.
    • Connectivity between members in terms of infrastructure and utilities unexploited.
    • Need to use more regional approach to cross-border projects.
  • 14. Regional Breakout Sessions: North Africa Priorities
    • Trade facilitation.
    • Optimization of energy resources
    • Improvement of telecommunications and transport infrastructure.
    • Strengthen UMA human and institutional capacity.
  • 15. Cross cutting themes
    • Country leadership.
    • Focus on regional projects.
    • Identify few key priorities.
    • Improve trade logistics.
    • Mobilize private sector.
    • Harness public private partnerships.
    • Leverage regional development banks.
    • Increase and improve financing.
    • Ensure coherence and cooperation.
  • 16. Recommendations and Way Forward
    • ECA and ADB with WTO continue to raise awareness and understanding of AFT.
    • Africa should move to the next stage of prioritizing its trade needs emphasizing on regional.
    • Building on current RECs plans, countries and sub-regions develop AFT action plans.
    • ECA & AfDB lead in creation of an African Aid for Trade Network to help in developing action plans.
    • ECA and ADB to report regularly on progress in Africa with first report in autumn of 2008.
  • 17. Concluding Remarks
    • Africa as a region needs Aid for Trade even more than any other region because of its capacity constraints
    • The burden of adjusting to trade reforms is more severe and pervasive in Africa, due to already existing low levels of income
    • African countries have identifies their priorities and the Aid for Trade should focus in supporting them
  • 18. Concluding Remarks
    • The challenges ahead include how to transform what has so far been “goodwill” into concrete action
    • How to proceed to implement the Aid for Trade Initiative and mobilize resources
    • How to coordinate activities of various participating agencies and organizations
    • How to ensure “ownership” by the recipient countries of the Aid for Trade
    • ECA is committed to working with all those involved in the AFT for its success
  • 19. Concluding Remarks
    • THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION

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