‘Bad trade’ and risks of stifling local production in Africa

‘Bad trade’ and risks of stifling local production in Africa

John Cary, a prominent British merchant and writer on matters regarding trade, wrote between the end of ‘600 and the beginning of ‘700 two manuscripts where he argued that a trade model based on the export of raw materials/commodities and import of manufactured/industrial goods (as it happens in most of African countries), has a destructive effect on the economy of the nation exporting raw materials, as it stifles the birth of a local industry.

The theory illustrated in the Cary’s…


Many agree that the construction of the African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can be an important opportunity for advancing the industrialization of the African continent[1], as the newly established Free Trade Area (FTA) will offer opportunities to both African and foreign investors to establish productive units in one or more African countries from where they can serve the markets in all the continent.

However, some conditions are also needed in order this situation to concretely materialize. First, a clarification is necessary. In order to be traded duty-free among African countries, products must satisfy the rules of origin governing preferential trade…

Danilo Desiderio

CEO of Desiderio Consultants Ltd., Nairobi, Kenya, Danilo Desiderio is an international consultant specialised in customs and trade

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