Abstract

There is now a very broad consensus that open economies grow faster than closed ones, and nowhere is this message more important than in Africa. While opinions differ about exactly what constitutes openness and integration with the world economy, there is also little disagreement that most African economies need to liberalize their international trade regimes significantly during the next decade. Multilateral trade negotiations cannot lead or force that process of reform, but they can almost certainly assist it. Thus this chapter looks at the role of African countries in the last, Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations and their potential role in the next one. It also argues that, in terms of access to partners’ markets, trade preferences are no substitute for bound MFN tariff reductions, and that Africa should focus its negotiating efforts on the latter rather than the former.