IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can Sub-Saharan Africa leap into global network trade ?


  • Subramanian, Uma
  • Matthijs, Matthias


This paper examines opportunities for Sub-Saharan African countries to effectively participate in globalization, particularly given the increasing interest of China and India in Sub-Saharan Africa. How can Sub-Saharan Africa fully engage and gain benefits from global network trade? Over the past 15 years Asia has become Africa's fastest growing export market. Asian countries are much more open to trade than Europe or America. There seems to be no evidence to suggest that this trend will not continue in the near future. The authors acknowledge the numerous caveats in Asia's growing interest in the African continent, not least the"resource curse"of exports that are heavily concentrated on oil, minerals, and raw materials, as well as the fierce competition from Asia's cheap manufactured exports. However, they believe that there is strong evidence to suggest a clear potential for South-South cooperation in trade and investment. Drawing on evidence from their extensive research into international value chains, the authors identify five critical factors for effective participation in global network trade: price, speed-to-market, labor productivity, flexibility, and product quality. Underlying competitive performance of these critical factors are a country's policies and institutions. Effective policies, efficient institutions, and the necessary infrastructure will ensure the best outcome for trading countries. To improve the depth and sustainability of these five critical factors, it is important that developing countries create a supportive policy and institutional framework from the outset.

Suggested Citation

  • Subramanian, Uma & Matthijs, Matthias, 2007. "Can Sub-Saharan Africa leap into global network trade ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4112, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4112

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Twigg, Judyth L., 1999. "Obligatory medical insurance in Russia: the participants' perspective," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 371-382, August.
    2. Wagstaff, Adam & Lindelow, Magnus & Jun, Gao & Ling, Xu & Juncheng, Qian, 2009. "Extending health insurance to the rural population: An impact evaluation of China's new cooperative medical scheme," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-19, January.
    3. Reinikka, Ritva & Svensson, Jakob, 2004. "Working for God?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Stephen Nickell, 2003. "Employment and Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 1109, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler, 2003. "The labor market effects of payroll taxes in a middle-income country: Evidence from Colombia," Economics Working Papers 721, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    6. Lewis, Maureen & Eskeland, Gunnar & Traa-Valerezo, Ximena, 2004. "Primary health care in practice: is it effective?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 303-325, December.
    7. Cristian C. Baeza & Truman G. Packard, 2006. "Beyond Survival : Protecting Households from Health Shocks in Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7120.
    8. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    9. Adam Wagstaff, 2007. "Health systems in East Asia: what can developing countries learn from Japan and the Asian Tigers?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(5), pages 441-456.
    10. Adam Wagstaff, 2010. "Estimating health insurance impacts under unobserved heterogeneity: the case of Vietnam's health care fund for the poor," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 189-208.
    11. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy & van der Burg, Hattem & Calonge, Samuel & Christiansen, Terkel & Citoni, Guido & Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Gerfin, Mike & Gross, Lorna & Hakinnen, Unto, 1999. "Equity in the finance of health care: some further international comparisons1," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 263-290, June.
    12. Alejandro Gaviria & Carlos Medina & Carolina Mejía, 2006. "Evaluating The Impact Of Health Care Reform In Colombia: From Theory To Practice," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 002647, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    13. Thomas Bauer & Regina Riphahn, 2002. "Employment effects of payroll taxes - an empirical test for Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(7), pages 865-876.
    14. Obermann, Konrad & Jowett, Matthew R. & Alcantara, Maria Ofelia O. & Banzon, Eduardo P. & Bodart, Claude, 2006. "Social health insurance in a developing country: The case of the Philippines," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 3177-3185, June.
    15. John Scott, 2006. "Seguro Popular: Incidence Analysis," Working papers DTE 367, CIDE, División de Economía.
    16. O'Donnell, Owen & van Doorslaer, Eddy & Rannan-Eliya, Ravi P. & Somanathan, Aparnaa & Adhikari, Shiva Raj & Akkazieva, Baktygul & Harbianto, Deni & Garg, Charu C. & Hanvoravongchai, Piya & Herrin, Ale, 2008. "Who pays for health care in Asia?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 460-475, March.
    17. Adam Wagstaff & Mariam Claeson, 2004. "The Millennium Development Goals for Health : Rising to the Challenges," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14954.
    18. Elizabeth Docteur & Howard Oxley, 2003. "Health-Care Systems: Lessons from the Reform Experience," OECD Health Working Papers 9, OECD Publishing.
    19. Jairo Restrepo & Andrés Zambrano & Mauricio Velez & Manuel Ramirez, 2007. "Health insurance as a strategy for access: streamlined facts of the colombian health care reform," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 002783, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    20. Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-183, May.
    21. Pablo Gottret & George Schieber, 2006. "Health Financing Revisited : A Practitioner's Guide," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7094.
    22. Jowett, M. & Contoyannis, P. & Vinh, N. D., 2003. "The impact of public voluntary health insurance on private health expenditures in Vietnam," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 333-342, January.
    23. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & van der Burg, Hattem & Christiansen, Terkel & Citoni, Guido & Di Biase, Rita & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gerfin, Mike & Gross, Lorna & Hakinnen, Unto, 1999. "The redistributive effect of health care finance in twelve OECD countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 291-313, June.
    24. Wagstaff, Adam & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1992. "Equity in the finance of health care: Some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 361-387, December.
    25. Nonneman, Walter & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 1994. "The role of the sickness funds in the Belgian health care market," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1483-1495, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Arbache, Jorge & Go, Delfin S. & Page, John, 2008. "Is Africa's economy at a turning point?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4519, The World Bank.
    2. Chris Milner & Oliver Morrissey & Evious Zgovu, "undated". "Trade Facilitation in Developing Countries," Discussion Papers 08/05, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    3. repec:wbk:wbpubs:28026 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Markets and Market Access; Economic Theory&Research; Access to Markets; Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Transport and Trade Logistics;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4112. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.