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Abstract

This article starts with a profile of African agricultural trade. Using the pre-release version 9.2 of the GTAP database, we then show that the results for tariff elimination on intra-African trade are promising, but these tariff barriers are not as significant as the various trade-related barriers outside of tariffs. Impressive results were forecast by simulating both a 50% reduction in what can be considered traditional non-tariff barriers and a modest 20% reduction in the costs associated with transit time delays at customs, terminals and internal land transportation. Gains from tariff elimination, non-tariff barrier reductions and time in transit cost reductions are likely to be cumulative and would generate very large gains to Africa. The policy implications are clear: while cooperation will enhance the gains, much of the benefits will result from unilateral actions and regional cooperation that does not need the long and drawn-out processes associated with FTA negotiations.

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