Development of Africa's external trade : issues, policies and prospects
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)Mutharika, Bingu Wa;
United Nations. Economic and Social Council;
United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
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International (or External) trade plays an important role in relations among nations. For purposes of this lecture, external trade means Africa's trade with the rest of the world and does not include intra-African trade. Presently, Africa's share in world trade is only 1.9 per cent. It is so small that Africa's role in this trade is insignificant. During the 1980s, Africa's external trade sector performed poorly. Prices of primary commodities of interest to African countries fell dramatically. As a result, the export earnings (foreign exchange) fell to an all time low level. At the same time, Africa's imports of manufactured goods and food increased significantly. As a result, many countries faced balance-of payments deficits (i.e. African countries paid more to other countries than it received).