Africa Resists The Protectionist Temptation

Written by: Rhoda Ansah

New Publication: Africa Resists The Protectionist Temptation – 5th GTA Report: A Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Edited by Simon J. Evenett.

ACET researchers made substantial contributions to a recent publication by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), in a 5th book in the series known as Global Trade Alert (GTA) series.

The recent global economic downturn has fueled a significant increase in contemporary protectionist measures, with an expansion of over 40% of measures which are harmful to foreign commercial interests being recorded by the GTA Database. Policymakers in rich and emerging countries generally talk about the need to help developing countries, but the GTA said that world-wide, since the crisis began, 141 government measures have hurt the traders and migrant workers of the 50 poorest Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

The book’s editor – Simon Evenett, an economics professor at St Gallen University in Switzerland and a founder of the GTA, in a statement prior to the recent G20 meeting in Seoul emphasized the threat of increasing protectionism, caused in part by tension over exchange rates and the need for better leadership by the G20 group of countries to stem this tide.

Remarkably, Africa has not resorted to protectionism on the scale of industrialized countries and some of their developing country peers during the crisis. This report contains papers by four researchers from ACET on the likely reforms in the United States and the European Union trade preferences regimes and their implications for sub-Saharan Africa.

The papers listed below make important contributions to promote better understanding about the impact of protectionist western trade policies towards Sub-Saharan Africa. They also advocate for greater coherence between trade and development policy, so that governments do not give with one hand (aid and other support) and take with the other (protectionism).

  1. Effects of Post-Crisis Foreign Trade Policy Measures on Economic and Trade Performance in Africa” – Dr Eric Ogunleye: Former Research Fellow at ACET, now Special Adviser to President of Federal Republic Of Nigeria, Trade and Finance.
  2. Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Trade and Economic Policy Making in Africa”Dr Felix Fofana N’Zue. Former Research Fellow at ACET, now working for  ECOWAS – The Economic Community Of West African States.
  3. Transforming Africa’s Structure and Composition of Trade after the Global Economic Crisis”. – Ms Nana Amma Afari-Gyan. Research Analyst at ACET
  4. Towards More balanced Trade within the Framework of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation: The Impact of China on Africa’s Trade”. Ms Sarah Jane Danchie. Policy Analyst at ACET.

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