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Reconstructing regional integration in Africa? A briefing paper on the UNCTAD 2013 Economic Development in Africa Report

Trade Briefs

Reconstructing regional integration in Africa? A briefing paper on the UNCTAD 2013 Economic Development in Africa Report

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During July 2013, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its new edition of the annual Economic Development in Africa Report. The focus in this specific report deals with intra-African trade and has included in its title ‘Unlocking Private Sector Dynamism’. A succinct and critical summary of the essence of this Report has been produced in a recent tralac Discussion Note. Apart from providing a more expanded summary of some of the important conclusions emerging from the Report, this brief will attempt to unveil and evaluate the approach and set of recommendations put forward by UNCTAD in the Report.

This brief, initially, provides a summary of the UNCTAD Report. Then it introduces a more critical focus on some of the overall UNCTAD Report’s conclusions and suggested policies, relating to the encouragement and expansion of intra-Africa trade. Before going into the details of the Report, it should be emphasised that since 2008 UNCTAD has produced several relevant annual Economic Development in Africa reports dealing with pertinent issues which relate to deepening and expanding Intra-African regional trade. In addition, the UNCTAD and UNIDO definitive and elaborate report dealing with Industrial Development in Africa in the new Global Environment (2011) highlighted some critically important and fundamental policy guidelines for enhancing intraregional trade, also incorporated in the present Report. The 2013 Report can be viewed as an attempt to apply and justify many of the findings and recommendations of these earlier reports that were compiled over the past six years or so.


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 authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.

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Reconstructing regional integration in Africa? A briefing paper on the UNCTAD 2013 Economic Development in Africa Report - Author(s): Harry Zarenda

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