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Resources Portal

Can Africa's RECs produce a Continental Market - Part 1
Can Africa's RECs produce a Continental Market - Part 2
International Trade Agreements - Econlib (Reprinted with permission from David R. Henderson, Editor, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, Liberty Fund, 2008)

World Trade Organisation

  • Established on 1 January 1995 following the Uruguay Round negotiations

  • With 164 members, the WTO represented 98% of world trade in 2018

  • The WTO’s functions include: administering WTO trade agreements, acting as a forum for trade negotiations, handling trade disputes, monitoring trade policies, providing technical assistance and training for developing economies and ensuring cooperation with other international organizations

 

  • The announcement of a new Director-General is impending as the heated race between South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee and Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala draws to a close


Regional Economic Communities of Africa

  • Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)

  • Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

  • East African Community (EAC)

  • Southern African Development Community (SADC)

  • Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

  • Arab Maghreb Union (AMU)

  • Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD)

  • Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

Economic Community of West African States

  • Established on May 28 1975 via the treaty of Lagos, ECOWAS is made up of 15 members, who are also members of CEN-SAD
  • In 2016, its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) amounted to US$716.7 Billion.
  • ECOWAS seeks to drive economic transformation by deepening integration through the
    ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS).
  • The percentage of intra-ECOWAS exports in
    total ECOWAS exports was 11.9% in
    2017, lower than the proportion of intra-Africa exports
    in total African exports at 16%
  • Nigeria contributes the lion share of ECOWAS trade in goods, which as of 2015, was valued at US$87.9 billion (0.53 per cent of the world total).

African Continental Free Trade Area

  • The Agreement establishing the AfCFTA entered into force on 30 May 2019, with the potential to increase intra-Africa trade by 81%, by the year 2035
  • First commercial deal to take place 1 January 2021
  • Instruments of ratification have been deposited by 29 countries while 5 countries, including Nigeria, have approved ratification
  • Eritrea is yet to sign the Agreement
  • The operational phase of the AfCFTA was launched on 7 July 2019
  • The AfCFTA will be governed by five operational instruments, i.e. the Rules of Origin; the online negotiating forum; the monitoring and elimination of non-tariff barriers; a digital payments system and the African Trade Observatory.

Transport Services

  • Global exports of transport services generated $1.011 trillion in 2019
  • Sectoral contribution to total percentage of Africa’s service exports 2018 – 25.4%
  • Africa’s share of global transport exports is 3.0% and imports is at 5.1%
  • About half of global trade in transport services is driven by trade in goods

Tourism Services

  • Travel/Tourism is the most exported service, generating US$1.407 trillion in 2019
  • Sectoral contribution to total percentage of Africa’s service exports 2018 – 42.4%
  • Africa’s share of global travel exports is 3.5% and imports is at 2.5%
  • Tourism accounts for more than 66% of global trade in services through Mode 2

Financial Services

  • Global exports of financial services including insurance & pension services generated $640.2 billion in 2019
  • Sectoral contribution to total percentage of Africa’s service exports 2018 – 17.3%
  • Africa’s share of global financial services exports is 0.6%
  • In 2017, 77% of global trade in financial services took place through Mode 3 

Information & Communication Technology Services

  • Global exports of telecommunications, computer and information services generated $655.9 billion in 2019
  • Sectoral contribution to total percentage of Africa’s service exports in 2018 – 5.2%
  • Africa’s share of global telecommunications, computer and information services exports is 0.9%
  • Trade in IT services records an annual expansion rate of 11%

Business Services

  • Global exports of business services generated $1.351 trillion in 2019
  • In 2017, share of business services in world trade in services was 9.2%
    • Professional services – 3.4%
    • Research and development – 1.4%
    • Rental and leasing – 0.5%
    • Other business services – 3.9%