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What can Africa expect from its traditional exports?
Author:Ng, Francis; Yeats, Alexander; Collection Title:Africa Region working paper series ; no. 26
Country:Africa; Date Stored:2002/08/02
Document Date:2002/02/28Document Type:Working Paper (Numbered Series)
SubTopics:Environmental Economics & Policies; Economic Theory & Research; Markets and Market Access; Free Trade; Access to MarketsLanguage:English
Major Sector:(Historic)Economic PolicyRegion:Africa
Report Number:23669Sub Sectors:(Historic)Trade
Volume No:1 of 1  

Summary: This study examines the implications of recent trade trends, and long-term price projections for Sub-Saharan Africa's major exports. Its policy message for Africa is two fold. First, Africa must diversify away from traditional products, or continue to experience serious negative trade effects including declining, or relatively low growth in global demand for these goods; falling real prices for traditional products; very unstable prices and export earnings; as well as continued marginal world trade, and diminished growth and industrialization prospects. However, there is no evidence that any general diversification is occurring. Domestic, and international policy initiates, must assign a far greater importance to the need for diversifying Africa's exports. Second, it is unlikely that major shifts in the composition of exports can occur in the short, to medium-term. As such, the removal of anti-export biases in African countries' domestic policies, as well as initiatives to promote competitive (low cost) prices for traditional exports, still require immediate attention. Future markets for traditional products will be highly competitive, and African countries failing to implement policies promoting production efficiencies, should expect major competitive export losses on such items.

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