Introduction to symposium supply chain trade in Africa: Retrospect and prospect

The symposium focuses on the evolution and determinants of Africa's participation in Global Value Chains (GVC) through comparisons with other continents, but also across countries within Africa. Using firm, sector and country-level data they provide a comprehensive micro and macroeconomic analysis of GVC in Africa that helps inform policymakers aiming at increasing Africa's participation in GVC. Three policy areas are identified. First, encouraging FDI and better governance are important drivers of GVC participation through vertical and horizontal linkages. Second, promoting production capacity through industrial policies that aim at learning by exporting and internet connectivity can help diversify African GVC, which is heavily concentrated in the commodity sector, towards the manufacturing and services sectors with higher value-added. Finally, there is a need to increase the downstreamness of Africa's participation in GVC, not only because it moves Africa towards sectors with high value-added but also because it would make Africa's production more environmentally sustainable.
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de Melo J., Olarreaga M. (forthcoming) "Introduction to symposium supply chain trade in Africa: Retrospect and prospect", The World Economy

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