Case studies from Benin, Cameroon, Ghana and the Republic of Congo underline importance of regional integration to intra-Africa trade in wood products

Regional economic integration can boost trade in wood products among African countries, according to the findings of a new report produced by the African Natural Resources Centre of the African Development Bank.

The report, Intra-African Trade in Wood Products – Case studies from Benin, Cameroon, Ghana and the Republic of Congo, published on 19 May, explores the role that forest value chains can play in advancing Africa’s development objectives.

The continent’s significant forest resources are under-utilized, the report notes. Also, despite the high number of timber-exporting countries in Africa, over 90% of exports are primary products with little value addition, rather than furniture, doors and window frames, printing and writing paper, newsprint, household sanitary papers and packaging materials.

There are plenty of reasons to promote wider intra-African trade of wood products. For developing countries, import substitution is important to advance industrial development but also to eliminate balance-of-payments challenges. The forest products sector is amenable to import saving because demand for forest products is highly response to price shifts. Read More.

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