The majority of African countries have liberalised their trade regimes during the past two decades. The policies were not implemented as part of an agreement with trading partners. However, various agreements with trading partners have 'locked in' the reform efforts. Numerous regional trading agreements, some of more substance than others, exist whereby African countries have agreed to more open trade with other African countries. There are also special agreements relating to trade between groups of African countries and the EU and US. Trade and openness are now high on the policy agenda in African countries. This chapter concentrates on the experience with trade reforms in Africa since the 1980s and African trade performance in the 1990s. Although the focus is on sub- Saharan Africa (SSA), some results are reported for all of Africa (allowing comparison between North Africa and SSA).
The sections of this proposed book chapter are as follows: Introduction, Overview of African Trade Performance, Why Trade Reform?, Trade Policy Reform in sub-Saharan Africa, Policy and Trade Performance, and conclusion. The specific question addressed is: what trade reforms have African countries implemented during the past two decades and what has been the economic effect?
Trade Poicy and Performance in sub-Saharan Africa, Centre for Research in Economic Development and International Trade (CREDIT), University of Nottingham, UK, 33 pp.