The general state of Intra-African trade, its obstacles, and potential
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa;
United Nations. Economic and Social Council;
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The African region, like any other region, has had and still has economic links with the rest of the world. These linkages manifest the progressive inter connection of the world economy over the last two or more centuries which has brought into existence a set of processes which has affected, albeit in radically different ways, all peoples touched by this interdependent economic system in all parts of the world. The connections are sometimes obvious and direct, sometimes obscure and highly indirect as are their implications for the national, regional and sectoral cohesiveness of the economies. The interdependence of the world economy is an acknowledged fact and the desirability of an interdependent world economic system derives, from the fact that no country is endowed with all natural resources. However, within the existing interdependent world economy, the utilization of the world resources is skewed towards benefiting only one section of the world community. This situation is a manifestation of inequality in world power structure directed at obtaining as much as possible from a given amount of resources. The African region has not been able to derive much benefit from the present situation of the interdependent world economy nor are there better prospects on the basis of existing relationships. The African region has long realized that the world economic system, while enriching other regions, has also impoverished African countries. African voices have been heard at various international fora but those voices have not yielded much when measured by what has so far been done to rectify the system.