Your Nigerian Economist

Your Nigerian Economist

Inclusive growth lies at the heart of Nigeria's development. From macroeconomic policies to energy resources; trade to development topics, Your Nigerian Economist engages the citizenry in discussing relevant economic issues and proffers solutions towards a fairer, more developed economy.

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To Trade with our Brothers or Not

Mma Amara Ekeruche

Mma Amara Ekeruche

Amara works as a Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA). She holds a BA (first class) in Economics from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana and an MSc in Economic Policy from University College London.

Economic theory and real-world experience have taught us one thing: countries can trade their way to prosperity. Examples of this abound. From South Korea's industrial revolution as the world started buying Samsung electronics and driving Hyundai cars, to the superpowered growth of steel and ICT in modern China, and Singapore's transition to a first world country by trading electronic machinery and aircrafts components

For long, Africa has craved the same. In 2012, the African Union (AU) latched onto the idea of a trade-driven approach to development when the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) was birthed. The agreement would dismantle barriers to trade by turning Africa into a single market; 1.2 billion people freely trading goods and services worth $2 trillion. Under the CFTA, nearly 90% of the commodities produced on the continent would be sold tariff-free within Africa. 

The CFTA was badly needed. African businesses trading within the continent are faced with high tariffs – roughly 9 percent compared to 3 percent overseas. This stifles intra-African trade and explains why trade among African countries amounts to only 12 percent of their trading activity.

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