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Dhows to Planes: Trade Relations between the Arabian Gulf and Africa and their Impacts on Development


  • Mwangi wa Githinji

    () (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)


The relationship between the Arabian Gulf and the African continent is a long standing one. In this paper we will examine the recent history of trade between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and African countries and its potential impact on industrialization. We will briefly discuss the relationship between trade and industrialization and the degree to which this relationship has held in the post-independence period of African countries. This will be followed by an examination of the volume and trends in trade between Africa and the Gulf, and a first estimation of how it has changed. After establishing what the volume of trade is, we examine the sophistication of exports from both regions to each other in an attempt to uncover whether the trade of today has the ability not only to affect growth because of its size, but also to impact the process of industrial transformation because of the kind of goods traded. We will examine the sophistication of exports using the ten groups of exports created by Sanjaya Lall (Lall, 2000; Lall et al., 2006). We will end the paper with some suggestions on the lessons that policy makers should take away from our exercise.

Suggested Citation

  • Mwangi wa Githinji, 2010. "Dhows to Planes: Trade Relations between the Arabian Gulf and Africa and their Impacts on Development," Journal of African Development, African Finance and Economic Association (AFEA), vol. 12(1), pages 131-154.
  • Handle: RePEc:afe:journl:v:12:y:2010:i:1:p:131-154

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