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African Review of Economics and Finance

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Africa-Asia trade versus Africa’s trade with the North: Trends and trajectories

TE Mutambara

Abstract


This study shows that Europe continues to be Africa’s major trading partner given the historical relations and long standing trading arrangements between the two. However, evidence also shows that despite maintaining strong trade linkages with Europe, Africa’s trade with Asia has been growing at a much faster rate than Africa’s trade with Europe. Over the years, Africa’s share of manufactured imports (at all levels of manufacturing and technology intensity) from Asia has been on a continuous rise, while Europe’s share of Africa’s imports of this nature has been on a continuous decline. Both Europe and Asia provide Africa with a market for its exports, although Europe absorbs more than Asia. By providing Africa with market opportunities for exports with greater skill content, this has implications for learning effects and technological spillovers, and thus developmental potentials which would facilitate structural transformation of productive structures. Intra- Africa trade has been growing tremendously over the years, thus providing member states with local markets for their products.

Keywords: Trade intensity, trading partners, South-South linkages



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