connecting Zambia and |
Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls. Zambia has two major railroads that
connect to provide an outlet to
the port of Dar es Salaam
According to Valentine Rugwabiza, deputy director general of the WTO, Africa, with its high dependence on trade with the outside world, is highly vulnerable to external shocks.
- "In 2008, Africa imported cereals for US$15 billion with only 5% of this coming from the continent.
- Africa’s share in world trade is also very small – less than three percent in 2011 – it is growing very rapidly, particularly with emerging economies; trade amongst African countries is stagnant.
- Intra-continental trade is stagnant due to lack of investment in infrastructure (roads, railways) and non-tariff barriers (import licenses, government permits)
- It takes 18 days to export products from Latin America and the Caribbean, 33 days to do so from Africa.
- It is also more expensive to ship a container from Africa than from any other part of the developing world. A shipping container from South-east Asia costs US$900 but US$2000 from Africa."
- "In absolute terms, intra-African trade is low. However, in terms of non-oil exports Africa’s internal trade is almost on par with its exports to the EU. Furthermore, the trade growth rate within Africa is the second highest after China and before the United States and the EU.
- Africa's over-dependence on food imports is due to their loss of productive capacities. ... In the short run countries must be able to import food quickly and as cheaply as possible to meet their immediate. However, over the long term [they must be able to] produce their own food without relying on imports from developed countries that have an extremely unfair competitive advantage due to the latter’s massive government subsidies.
- Relying on imports undercuts domestic producers and undermines their future capacity to produce. Therefore, countries may need to use tariffs and other trade policy tools to stop some of the imports, even from their neighbors, at least for some time.
- First countries have to increase their productive capacities and then trade will follow. The WTO always thinks about increasing trade, but the main question for Africa is how to increase its productive capacities. Then trade will naturally follow.
- In some parts of Africa, intra-regional trade is larger than in others. The total exports of the East African Community (EAC) to sub-Saharan Africa already surpassed their total exports to the EU in 2000. Other countries like Zambia and Senegal also export more to Africa than to Europe."