William Easterly has this neat collection of pics to show just how badly Africa is doing in many sectors compared to the rest of the world. The Continent’s share of global trade is a paltry 2%. In the 1960’s Africa’s share of world exports was 3%. By the 1990s the same had declined to 1%. The decline in exports did not translate into more intra-continental trade – which still stands at a dismal 10%. This despite the proliferation of regional trade agreements on the Continent (ECOWAS, SADC, EAC, COMESA, ECCAS, SACU…..). It would be interesting to analyse just how effective these regional trade pacts have been over the decades. Me thinks that like the OAU and latterly the AU they have merely been big men’s clubs with no real impact on trade and development. But I could be wrong.
An illustration of Africa’s ever shrinking share of world trade since the 1950s can be found here.