The background and objectives, research findings, and policy recommendations of the project are presented. As with many sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, East African countries (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) have significantly reduced tariffs and trade policy restrictions on imports since the 1980s. These countries have followed the policy of trade liberalisation but have not experienced, to any sustained degree, the expected increase in exports.
There are a number of reasons why exports may not increase following liberalisation, notably the constraints on production (especially in the primary sector), or export supply response, which are pervasive in these countries. African countries are known to face particularly high transport costs, largely due to poor infrastructure and institutional inefficiencies. The research aims to quantify the importance of transport costs in East Africa, and to assess the extent to which this explains poor export performance.
Trade Policy and Transport Costs: How EU aid can promote export growth in East Africa, Emerging Markets Group (EMG) Ltd, London, UK, 2 pp.