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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Primary Commodity Exports: Can They Hold Africa?
Author:Vasudevan, Parvathi
Periodical:African Currents
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:economic development
Economics and Trade
international relations
Abstract:Contrary to popular belief, primary commodity exports can contribute to dynamic economic development. African governments need to direct efforts at sustaining the long-standing comparative advantage in primary exports. Over a period of time, this will enable Africa's agricultural sector to pass on its savings to the more lucrative export-oriented manufacturing sector. Africa's performance in the primary export sector, especially agriculture, has been varied, despite the fact that the agricultural sector remains at the heart of most African economies and is generally the most important sector in GDP, while a substantial proportion of Africa's labour force are agricultural workers and the share of exports from agricultural products is extremely high. Natural disasters and policies that discriminate against agriculture, like overvalued exchange rates, high export duties, burdensome administrative requirements, and price controls, have taken their toll on Africa's agricultural sector and this has been a major contributor to Africa's economic crisis. There is a need to promote income growth and structural changes in a manner that activates a chain of backward, forward, consumption, and rent linkages. A whole package of complementary measures needs to be implemented in order to bring about much needed change in Africa's agricultural profile. Bibliogr.