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Bringing Down Barriers to Trade: The Experience of Trade Policy Reform


  • Jeffrey Metzel

    (Associates for International Research and Development)

  • Lucie Colvin Phillips



The record of trade policy reform in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) masks substantial variation among countries and a tendency in the region for crucial trade reforms to be stalled or reversed subsequent to implementation. Despite a decade of intensive reform efforts, the trade environment in Africa remains constrained. Measures of the impact of reforms on the trading environment suggest that nominal protection remains high, many currencies are overvalued while others are subject to hyperinflation, rapid devaluation, and the procedures and regulations surrounding trade remain slow, burdensome, and restructure. In addition, various complementary measures, which must accompany trade reforms in order to ensure the realization of the beneficial economic effects of liberalization, are lacking. They include physical infrastructure, human capital (especially in technical and managerial areas), and public institutions that regulate markets, assist transactions, and provide safety, quality, and other standards for transactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Metzel & Lucie Colvin Phillips, 2001. "Bringing Down Barriers to Trade: The Experience of Trade Policy Reform," Journal of African Development, African Finance and Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 163-195.
  • Handle: RePEc:afe:journl:v:4:y:2001:i:1:p:163-195

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