African Trade Integration: What Are The Current Results In Terms Of Creation And Diversion Of Trade As A Result Of The Process Initiated Within The Economic Spaces Recognized By The African Union?



This paper analyzes, in the light of the assumptions made since 1950 by Viner, the potential positive (creation effect) and negative (diversion effect) intra-African impacts of trade agreements applied within its eight Regional Economic Communities (RECs : ECOWAS, ECCAS, CEN-SAD, COMESA, EAC, IGAD, SADC, and AMU). Using the PPMLHDFE method, we estimate the gravity model on the export flows of 52 African partners over the period 2000 to 2018. Our results show that trade agreements induced by the integration process within SADC, ECOWAS and ECCAS impact their internal trade dynamics and the hypothesis of trade deviation with the rest of the African trading partners is confirmed for the countries of these three zones and IGAD. These results call on the African authorities in charge of implementing the African Free Trade Area (AFTA) to accelerate this continental project which is a measure to consolidate intra-RECs arrangements that are lagging behind and to decriminalize deviations in inter-African trade between countries that are not members of the same REC, induced by the existence of internal policies in favor of intra-regional trade expansion.


African trade integration, trade creation effect, trade diversion effect, gravity model

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