- The African market remains highly fragmented; preventing enormous opportunities for cross-border trade from being exploited and in turn generating new jobs.
- Effective regional integration is more than simply removing tariffs—it is about addressing the barriers that undermine the daily operations of ordinary producers and traders of both goods and services.
- The incidence of barriers to regional trade fall most heavily, and disproportionately, on the poor and on women, and is preventing them from earning a living in activities where they have a comparative advantage—catering for smaller, local markets across the border.
- Action is required at both the supra-national and national levels. Regional communities can provide the framework for reform but responsibility for implementation lies with each member country.
- The donor community can help countries understand the political economy resistance that lies behind the fact that despite public pledges for integration, actual barriers to trade remain in place.
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