Africa’s Private Sector Raises Concern Over Global Trade, Calls for WTO Reform



Kehinde Olatunji | The Guardian

President, African Export-Import Bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, has stated that agricultural subsidies provided by developed economies have continued to confine Africa to the bottom of global value chains.

According to him, these subsidies do not only depress world prices, making it difficult for Africa to compete but also lead to dumping of excess production in African markets, wiping out local production and industries.

Oramah, who spoke in a webinar organised by Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFTRAC), said that overtime, the subsidies had reduced “the region which accounts for over 60 per cent of world’s remaining arable land to a net importer of food.”

He stated that in the modern period of global trade marked by the transition from the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1994, Africa had remained marginalised with its share of global trade falling to 2.5 per cent in 2019, down from over 4.4 per cent in 1970, and despite a growing number of African countries having integrated into the WTO as full members—44 countries to date.

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