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Geography and Development in Africa: Overview and Implications for Regional Cooperation

Geography causes African countries to experience a ‘proximity gap’. To overcome this gap a ‘big push’ may be needed in infrastructure. The cross-border nature of such infrastructure requires regional cooperation in at least four issues: transport infrastructure, trade facilitation, decentralization and local economic development, and migration. Because incentives for regional cooperation in these aspects may not be symmetrical, commitments made may not be credible. Therefore, transport infrastructure at least should be bound in WTO rules on trade facilitation to provide third party enforcement. Incentives for cooperation could also be improved with transport corridor design and collective peer pressure by landlocked countries. Regional cooperation could be supported by the international community with aid, the assurance of full implementation and adherence to international law on the rights of landlocked countries to access to the sea, the extension of appropriate trade preferences to African regions and ensuring consistency of international agreements and trade preferences with current regional integration initiatives.
Publisher:
UNU-WIDER
Series:
WIDER Discussion Paper
Volume:
2007/03
Title:
Geography and Development in Africa: Overview and Implications for Regional Cooperation
Authors:
Wim Naudé
Publication date:
September 2007
ISBN 13 Print:
9789292300005
ISBN 13 Web:
9789292300012
Copyright holder:
© UNU-WIDER
Copyright year:
2007
Keywords:
Africa, poverty gaps, proximity, geographical economics, infrastructure, regional cooperation
JEL:
O55, O18, O19, F15, R41
Sponsor:
UNU-WIDER acknowledges the financial contributions to the research programme by the governments of Denmark (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Finland (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Norway (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Sweden (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency—Sida) and the United Kingdom (Department for International Development).
Format:
online and printed copies
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