in: Sunday P. Odjo / Fousseini Traoré / Chahir Zaki (eds.), Africa Agriculture Trade Minitor 2023, Kigali, Rwanda and Washington DC: AKADEMIYA2063 / International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 16-52
One of the main features of today’s global trade system is the proliferation of regional trade agreements (RTAs). The proliferation of RTAs in recent years has been coupled with broader and deeper coverage under these agreements. Broader coverage increasingly includes more policy areas that may be trade-related (tariffs and nontariff measures) or non trade-related (behind-the-border policies, intellectual property rights, movement of capital and people, competition policy, and others). In this regard, the scope of RTAs has been expanded by WTO members and signatories of RTAs from just 8 policy areas in the 1950s to 17 policy areas today. Deeper agreements include an increasing number of commitments within each policy area. They are also increasingly accompanied by legal requirements, such as stronger transparency and enforcement mechanisms. This chapter assesses the role of RTAs in boosting agricultural trade in Africa. Our analysis extends beyond estimating the overall impact of agreements on African trade to assess the relative importance of the detailed agreements’ provisions, including both broader and deeper coverage, in boosting agricultural trade.