Emerging Issues and Concerns of African Countries in the WTO Negotiations on Agriculture and the Doha Round
Since the Uruguay Round, African countries have been concerned about the rules and operations of the multilateral trading system and are beginning to realize that they have to be active in the negotiation process to protect their interests. Consequently, several countries in the region have been relatively more active in the Doha Round negotiations and have formed alliances with other developing countries to increase their bargaining power. This paper provides a critical assessment of Africa’s concerns in the negotiations on agriculture and the Doha Round. It also examines the extent to which the Hong Kong Ministerial declaration meets the demands of African countries in the agriculture negotiations. Furthermore, it outlines essential elements of any new agreements on agriculture that would ensure a fair outcome for the region. Finally, the paper stresses that trade is important for development in Africa but is not the solution to the numerous economic and social problems facing the region. Consequently, African countries must adopt a strategic approach to trade which ensures that their participation in the Doha Round reforms does not jeopardize the achievement of key national development goals.
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