Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Recent Trends in Africa’s Services Trade

Ayoki, Milton (2018): Recent Trends in Africa’s Services Trade.

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This paper offers an assessment of the status of services trade in Africa. It addresses three policy questions: how Africa has fared in trade in services trade over the past decade relative to other regions of the world; who the key players and partners are; and the sectors shaping Africa’s services trade. Africa’s trade in commercial services remains very concentrated in a few countries. Over the last 11 years (2006–2016) only three countries—Egypt, South Africa and Morocco accounted for 55.5 percent of Africa’s exports; and five countries—Nigeria, Angola, South Africa, Egypt and Algeria accounted for 55 percent of Africa’s imports). The implication is that conditions facing those countries will continue to influence Africa’s services landscape. Second, infrastructural constraints (including low rates of access to the Internet and poor connectivity) has hindered the participation of African economies in the most dynamic segment of services trade leading to high export concentration (in very few sectors such as transport, tourism and travel-related services) heightening its vulnerability to external shocks. Third, with less than 10 percent of the value of services produced in most countries entering into the economy’s export basket, growth in services sector will continue to have very limited influence on the world market (share in global service exports). Reforms and programmes aimed at reducing trade barriers and cost of trading across borders (raised by inefficient transport, border management, and logistics, poorly designed technical regulations and standards, licensing requirements and process, among others) would not only create opportunities to directly expand services exports, but would also promote the development of competitive value chains of production across the region

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