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Agricultural trade can play a critical role in countries’ economic development and overall food security. While Africa’s share in both global and regional trade has increased in recent years, it remains below optimal levels – and below its great potential.
In late March, heads of state from 44 African countries met in Kigali, Rwanda to sign the framework agreement forming a new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) . If the agreement is ratified by all 55 member states of the African Union, the AfCFTA would establish one of the largest free trade areas in the world, covering over 1.2 billion people and $2.5 trillion in GDP.
Since June 2016, FEWS Net has followed the market situation in Nigeria; the country faces continuing economic challenges due to a global decline in crude oil prices and a depreciation of the national currency, as well as ongoing conflict in the northeastern regions. In the latest Nigeria Market Monitoring Bulletin , FEWS Net provides several updates of the implications of these challenges for the country and the region.
As we approach the Eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11), taking place from December 10-13 in Buenos Aires, developing countries’ role in the negotiations remains in question. This will be the first ministerial to be held in South America and will provide an opportunity to reduce trade barriers and further liberalize the global trading system. In recent years, developing countries have accounted for an increased share in global trade, making them more relevant players in the negotiations.
Agricultural growth can stem from a multitude of factors, including increased investment in inputs and rural infrastructure, expanded land dedicated to cropping, a more productive workforce, and favorable prices on local and international markets. Over the past decade, Ethiopia has experienced strong agricultural growth due to a number of these factors, according to a new research note and related working paper from IFPRI’s Ethiopia Strategy Support Program ; however, the country also faces a number of challenges to continued growth in the future.