[BLOG] Looking at the service sector in Africa
Developing countries have reserved their right to designate the services sectors that they wish to liberalize. I am sure you will agree with me that the services industry is the most dynamic industry in many African countries.
Africa stands to gain further by maintaining an offensive position in this sector. This will not only send positive signals to investors but it will also provide the predictability and transparency that is required to facilitate investment decisions.
There cannot be a discussion on intra Africa trade without addressing the services sector. Take for example; the transport sector. This high cost of transportation has a negative impact on trade volumes.
You will agree with me when I say that the absence of unified transport policies across the continent to facilitate cross border movement of cargo is a key obstacle to increasing intra Africa trade.
Another key area is that of trade facilitation, cutting red tape at the border. Trade facilitation efforts must be deployed to increase intra Africa trade and to integrate Africa into the global economy. Failure to address this issue will continue to undermine every other effort that will be undertaken.
The challenges include the need to develop requisite capacities needed to implement modern techniques of doing trade. Developing the necessary infrastructure and human skills are two of the most important challenges Africa faces.
Progress in these two areas is fundamental for African countries to have the capacity to effectively participate in regional and global trade.
In summary, it is essential for African countries that the issue of trade facilitation be positioned within a broader framework of the need to reduce transactions costs to both domestic and international trade in these economies, within a broader framework of engineering economic growth.
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This article was originally posted on West Africa Business Communities