Africa Without borders: Building Blocks For Regional Growth

Heavy investment in many aspects of development is needed to bring Africa into the world economy. With a large share of their populations living and working in the rural economy, many African governments are emphasizing the agricultural sector in their strategies for economic growth, poverty reduction, and food security. A growing commitment to market-oriented agricultural growth is reflected in numerous high-level government statements as well as in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Although many investments in agricultural growth are necessarily country-focused, there are economic reasons for African countries to coordinate and cofinance some of these efforts. The small size, economic isolation, and rudimentary infrastructure of many African economies present development challenges not easily surmounted at the national level. With a regional approach, countries can capture economies of scale and scope unavailable to them individually owing to their limited access to markets, finance, human capital, and knowledge. They can address cross-border ills caused by epidemics, pollution, and conflict. And by working regionally, countries are held accountable to a larger group of stakeholders for their policy commitments. Recent IFPRI research shows how coordinated investments in regional agricultural trade and productivity can leverage regional growth dynamics and improve Africa’s competitiveness in an increasingly globalized world.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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