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NAMA as a Tool of De-industrialization of Africa

Shafaeddin, Mehdi (2009): NAMA as a Tool of De-industrialization of Africa.

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The author argues in this chapter that trade liberalization in Africa during the last couple of decades has led to de-industrialization, slow growth of GDP, low level of investment, growing trade deficits, particularly in food items, in many African countries. This has been the case despite some improvement in recent years due to increases in the price of primary commodities. Drawing also on the experience of successful industrializers as well as failures of premature trade liberalization in low-income countries in recent decades, he further refers to pitfalls in negotiations on NAMA in WTO against the interest of African countries. Discussing the proposals made by developed countries on NAMA, he argues that if they are agreed upon, the structure of production and exports of African countries would be locked in primary commodities, resource based activities and at best low-skill labour intensive products and assembly operation. Finally, he outlines conditions for industrialization of Africa and the required changes in international trade rules in a way to become conducive to growth and upgrading of the industrial activities of the continents.

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