Front Matter

Front Matter

Zubair Iqbal, and Mohsin Khan
Published Date:
December 1998
    • ShareShare
    Show Summary Details

    © 1998 International Monetary Fund

    Production: IMF Graphics Section

    Cover design: Massoud Etemadi

    Typesetting: Joseph A. Kumar

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Trade reform and regional integration in Africa / editors, Zubair

    Iqbal, Mohsin S. Khan.

    p. cm.

    “Papers presented at the IMF and African Economic Research Consortium seminar on Trade reform and regional integration in Africa, December 1997.”

    Includes bibliographical references.

    ISBN 1-55775-769-0

    1. Africa, Sub-Saharan—Commercial policy—Congresses. 2. Africa, Sub-Saharan—Economic conditions—Regional disparities—Congresses.

    3. Africa, Sub-Saharan—Economic integration—Congresses.

    4. Africa, Sub-Saharan—Foreign economic relations—Congresses.

    I. Iqbal, Zubair. II. Khan, Mohsin S. III. International Monetary Fund.

    IV. African Economic Research Consortium.

    HF1611.T734 1998 98-11659

    382’.3’0967-dc21 CIP

    Price: $22.00

    Address orders to:

    International Monetary Fund, Publication Services

    700 19th Street, N.W., Washington D.C. 20431, U.S.A.

    Telephone: (202) 623–7430

    Telefax: (202) 623–7201




    In recent years, economic performance in most of sub-Saharan Africa has improved. Growth has picked up, resulting in an increase in per capita output in a number of countries, inflation has decelerated markedly, and the fiscal and external deficits have been reduced. In large part, the economic recovery can be attributed to improved macroeconomic and structural policies rather than to favorable external developments, such as terms of trade gains. Indeed, these favorable developments have been achieved at a time when official development assistance has been declining. Key structural reforms have been implemented in many African countries, including curtailing of price controls, dismantling of some inefficient public monopolies, privatization, elimination of nontariff barriers in most countries, and a reduction in import duties in many. At the same time, exchange rates have been largely freed and unified, restrictions on current transactions liberalized, and important progress has been made toward market-determined interest rates in most countries.

    The economic situation remains difficult. But sub-Saharan Africa may have reached a turning point. The incipient improvements need to be nursed assiduously if the recent gains are to be translated into sustained growth.

    Experience and research demonstrate that trade liberalization is a critical element in a growth strategy. As part of the effort to address trade issues in Africa, the IMF, in collaboration with the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), conducted a seminar on Trade Reform and Regional Integration in Africa in Washington in early December 1997. The event provided an important opportunity to government officials, academics, and representatives from multilateral and regional agencies to exchange views on the complex issues relating to trade reform and regionalism in Africa. This volume brings together papers presented during the seminar. They cover a range of important issues, including the role of trade liberalization in promoting sustained growth, interdependence of trade and macroeconomic policies, impediments to effective trade reforms, and steps needed to accelerate trade reform in Africa. The role that regional interaction can play in supporting trade reform is also covered extensively.

    What emerges from these papers, and the ensuing seminar discussions, is a clear consensus that trade liberalization is essential if African countries are to take advantage of globalization. Combining forces with similarly placed African countries through the formation of appropriate regional trading arrangements can lead to faster liberalization and can reduce vulnerability to external shocks.

    Stanley Fischer

    First Deputy Managing Director

    International Monetary Fund


    We are grateful to the following for their advice and support: Michael Mussa, Economic Counselor and Director, Research Department, IMF; Evangelos Calamitsis, Director, African Department, IMF; Pierre Dhonte, Deputy Director, Middle Eastern Department, IMF; and Benno Ndulu, Executive Director, African Economic Research Consortium. Thanks are also due to Alfred F. Imhoff for providing valuable editorial help; to Juanita Roushdy, External Relations Department, for editorial guidance; to Arturo Rios and Rosa Vera-Bunge, IMF Institute, for research assistance; and especially to Susan E. Jones, IMF Institute, for preparing the manuscript speedily and efficiently. We would also like to express our gratitude to many other staff members of the IMF Institute who helped in organizing the joint AERCIMF seminar where papers contained in this volume were presented.

    Zubair Iqbal

    Mohsin S. Khan

    List of Abbreviations

    Several African regional organizations have abbreviations based on their proper French names; however, the commonly used English translations of the names are given here.


    African Economic Community


    African Economic Research Consortium


    Central African Monetary Union


    Communauté francophone d’Afrique


    Cross-Border Initiative


    Central African Economic Community


    Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa


    Economic Commission for Africa


    Economic Community of Central African States


    Economic Community of West African States


    Extended Fund Facility


    Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility


    European Union


    Foreign direct investment


    Free trade area


    General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade


    International Monetary Fund


    Multifiber Arrangement


    North American Free Trade Agreement


    Nontariff barriers


    Organization of African Unity


    Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development


    Preferential trade area


    Quantitative restrictions


    Southern African Customs Union


    Southern African Development Community


    Southern African Development Coordination Conference


    Structural Adjustment Facility


    Structural Adjustment Program


    West African Economic and Monetary Union


    Central African Economic and Customs Union


    United Nations Conference on Trade and Development


    Value-added tax


    World Trade Organization


    The following symbols have been used in this book:

    • … to indicate that data are not available;

    • – between years or months (e.g., 1995–96 or January-June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months; and

    • / between years (e.g., 1996/97) to indicate a fiscal (financial) year.

    “Billion” means a thousand million.

    Dollars are U.S. dollars.

    Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

      You are not logged in and do not have access to this content. Please login or, to subscribe to IMF eLibrary, please click here

      Other Resources Citing This Publication