1st Edition

Trade Liberalisation and Economic Development in Africa

By Gift Mugano, Michael Brookes Copyright 2022
    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    258 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book provides a thorough and rigorous discussion on the impact of trade liberalisation on economic development with a special focus on the African continent. The author presents the rationale for trade liberalisation, trade liberalisation frameworks, the trade liberalisation economic development nexus, impediments to trade, and contemporary issues of international trade.

    In this book, notwithstanding the benefits from trade liberalisation, the author shows that African trade as a share of global trade has remained flat at 3% as in 1975, while the continent’s exports have remained raw materials and its intra-regional trade at less than 15% of total trade, which is the lowest in the world (UNCTAD, 2020). With respect to key economic development indicators such as economic growth, poverty levels, and employment levels, this book shows that, ironically and in direct contrast with the conventional views that trade liberalisation alleviates poverty, trade liberalisation in Africa has resulted in high levels of unemployment and low economic growth which ultimately lead to increased poverty. In addition, this book provides a detailed analysis of why trade liberalisation has failed to yield meaningful benefits to Africa. The binding constraints and blockages which prevent positive spin-offs on trade liberalisation in Africa are discussed in detail in this book.

    In the same vein, the author provides practical strategies which must be adopted by African countries in order to gain from trade liberalisation, making this work a must-read for African governments, academia, trade experts, regional trading blocs, the World Trade Organization, and development partners. In view of this, and as part of the disruptive and structural transformation policies, the author discusses case studies and international experience contextualised to Africa as well as strategies for addressing the trade-related infrastructure gap, production capacities, export promotion, and aid for trade.

    Part I: Trade Liberalisation Paradox 1. The Rationale of Trade Liberalisation 2. Trade liberalisation Frameworks 3. Obstacles and Barriers to Regional Integration in Africa  4. Trade Liberalisation Nexus Economic Development  5. Contemporary Issues in International Trade Part II: How Africa Must Respond 6. Closing Trade Related Infrastructure Gaps in Africa  7. Building Production Capacities 8. Enhancing Utilisation of Existing Manufacturing Capacities in Africa 9. Enhancing Production through Value Chains 10. Export Promotion Strategies in South Korea: Lessons for Africa 11. Role of Aid For Trade and Development Partners 12. Reflecting on Trade Liberalisation and Economic Development in Africa


    Gift Mugano (PhD) is an Adjunct Professor of Economics at the Durban University of Technology and Nelson Mandela University. He is a distinguished scholar and global authority on international trade and finance with over 16 years of extensive experience including research and publications, policy advisory, trade negotiations, lecturing, administration, leadership, and consultancy work.

    Michael Brookes (PhD) is a Professor of Human Resource Management at the University of Southern Denmark, Slagelse, Denmark, and Research Associate at Nelson Mandela University as well as Director of the Khanyisa Project, a non-profit partnership seeking to address employability issues in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.


    "The participation of African countries in the rules-based multilateral trading system has drawn mixed reactions from policy makers, trade analysts and academics. Whereas many developing countries, particularly those in East Asia and to a lesser extent in Latin America have benefitted from trade liberalisation either through the adoption of autonomous measures, or the adoption of structural adjustment programmes under the auspices of the IMF and the World Bank and as part of their obligations under preferential trade agreements, the results for African countries have not been significant. The book undertakes a comparative study of the African region and other parts of the developing world, particularly in Asia and proffers reasons why trade liberalization has had limited success in the African context. It makes a persuasive case for the liberalization of trade among African countries but calls for complementary measures to be adopted to maximise the gains from trade. The book is a must-read for trade policy makers and analysts who have pondered over the years about how the marginalisation of African countries can be reversed and integrated into the global economy." — Dr Edwini Kessie (PhD), Director of the Agriculture and Commodities Division, World Trade Organization

    "Prof. Mugano has written a special book that examines the means to increase countries’ trade performance – with particular focus on the African experience. In the context of trade openness and liberalization, Trade Liberalisation and Economic Development in Africa provides a comprehensive overview of issues that hold back increases in economic performance, trade and global export competitiveness. Prof. Mugano then describes a range of measures – supportive policies, infrastructure investments and microeconomic actions – that are available to countries to improve their trade performance. Prof. Mugano’s arguments are well-supported in the book by numerous African and global examples and cases. Easily read, Trade Liberalisation and Economic Development in Africa provides the reader with a buffet of useful approaches which, taken together, constitute an excellent, forward-looking country agenda." — Martin Webber, partner and executive vice president, J.E. Austin Associates

    "The book on Trade Liberalisation and Economic Development in Africa is an essential book which provides a deep analysis of the lacklustre nature of trade in Africa and reasons for the dismal performance. Most importantly, this book, using international experience, especially from Asia, provides robust strategies and policies on how African economies can increase both intra-regional and international trade. It is my conviction that if these measures and policies are effectively implemented, Africa’s trade will catch up with peers in Asia. From academics and practitioners in international trade, this book provides grounded evidence on nexus between trade liberalisation, export growth and economic development." — Professor Albert Makochekanwa, (PhD), Professor of International Trade and Professor in the Economics Department, University of Zimbabwe