Discussion Paper

No. 2012-67 | December 21, 2012
Why Should Sub-Saharan Africa Care about the Doha Development Round?


In recent years sub-Saharan Africa, notwithstanding the global financial crisis, has increased its share in global trade and investment flows. This has led to an appreciable improvement in development levels, albeit off a small base. However, these patterns are still dominated by commodity flows and investment, and remain marginal on the global stage. Increased trade and investment flows, particularly related to network services, would be of great benefit to the sub-continent. Yet many domestic regulatory constraints remain. Furthermore, substantial international market distortions, particularly in agricultural trade, inhibit economic diversification into more value-adding activities. The Doha development round could, if concluded, go a long way towards addressing these barriers. Ultimately it could prove more consequential to the sub-continent’s development trajectory than regional economic integration. The latter, whilst important, is shallow and too reliant on institution-intensive forms mimicking the European Union. Overall therefore this paper motivates for an African trade agenda focused on concluding the Doha round.

Paper submitted to the special issue
Multilateral Trade Liberalization and Regional Integration under Stress
Workshop in Honor of Prof. Dr. Rolf J. Langhammer

JEL Classification

F13 O24 O10

Cite As

Peter Draper, Andreas Freytag, and Sarah Al Doyaili (2012). Why Should Sub-Saharan Africa Care about the Doha Development Round?. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2012-67, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2012-67


Comments and Questions

Anonymous - report
April 17, 2013 - 08:56

I think it is a good tour d'horizon, a solid discussion paper that touch upon several key aspects of trade policy and the Doha agenda. For what it is worth, I strongly recommend the article for publication.

In the event the authors are interested, I'd like to see an ...[more]

... expanded discussion on differences between African economies in how their economic interests in the Doha round, and more generally, are defined.
I think it also would be good if they could make a bit clearer how they arrive to particular judgements. For instance, there is a discussion in the paper about African regionalism, which contrasts different economic and political economy aspects against each other.
The authors make a judgement on the issue, but I am not sure they explain how and why they daw the conclusions they draw. But this is a small point of editing, rather going into the substance. Again, I support the article for publication.