Trade, Development and Industrial Policy in Africa: The Case for a Pragmatic Approach to Optimizing Policy Coherence Between Industrial Policy and the WTO Policy Space
Law and Development Review, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp. 29–80.
58 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2018
Date Written: December 21, 2016
Industrial policy has become a new development priority for many African countries. In this context, many scholars point to the WTO and argue that a key impediment towards Africa’s successful industrialization is the narrowing of the WTO policy space. This paper challenges that argument through examining the extent to which African countries actually take into account the WTO policy space when implementing their industrial policy objectives. Through an empirical analysis of industrial policy priorities and key trade and investment laws and regulations in Kenya, Ghana and Namibia, this paper concludes that a significant policy constraint to effective industrialization in Africa is not the WTO policy space, but rather a lack of alignment between a country’s industrial policy objectives, trade and investment laws, and the WTO policy space.
Keywords: Policy Space, WTO, Industrial Policy, Africa
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