Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Africa’s Production and Trade: Agriculture and minerals


Africa’s Production and Trade: Agriculture and minerals

Africa’s Production and Trade: Agriculture and minerals

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Africa as a continent has extensive potential, not only to feed itself and alleviate hunger and food insecurity, but also to be an important exporter to global food markets. Agriculture forms a significant portion of the economies of all African countries, and as a sector it can contribute to crucial continental priorities such as alleviating poverty and hunger, boosting intra-African trade and investments and job creation.

However, few appreciate just how low the productivity is in the agricultural sector in most of the countries across Sub-Sahara Africa. Equally worrying is that this situation has not improved in many countries over the last 50 or so years, and indeed for several countries the situation is getting worse. This has major implications for industrial development across the continent, as Africa has not been able to duplicate the Asian growth model of transferring resources out of agriculture and placing them into export-oriented manufacturing. When read in conjunction with other measures it becomes apparent that a modern agricultural sector is generally not in place across the continent, and this similarly places restrictions on promoting an export-oriented agricultural sector. That Africa is a poor continent where subsistence agriculture is widespread is well known, and this is confirmed in this collection of studies.

The collection of chapters in this book present the profile and performance of agricultural production and trade in most of the major African countries over recent years. The book is intended to be an ‘umbrella’ – to be used as a platform to enable a more comprehensive country-by-country analysis to be undertaken, but it also contributes to a better understanding of the profiles.

Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the author and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.


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