How Important Are Non-Tariff Barriers to Agricultural Trade within ECOWAS?
It is widely believed that the countries of Africa trade relatively little with the outside world, and among themselves, despite an extensive network of regional trade agreements. We examine this proposition by focusing on agricultural trade. Specifically, we ask whether non-tariff barriers (NTBs) are stunting agricultural trade within ECOWAS, a grouping of 15 countries in West Africa that has removed tariffs on agricultural trade among its members. Our survey of truckers in Tambacounda (Senegal) in August 2009 found evidence of extensive bribery by police and border officials, effectively representing a barrier to trading.
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