PUBLISHED ON June 29th, 2023

How Africa Trades

Trade is an essential driver of economic transformation, growth, and prosperity. At a time of global uncertainty and policy fluidity, this comprehensive volume demystifies African trade and trade policy to provide a deeper understanding of how trade impacts the lives of all Africans and the continent’s development aspirations.

Featuring a wealth of data-driven evaluations of trade negotiations and policy choices, How Africa Trades is an invaluable open access resource for making sense of the continent’s major trade challenges, including commodity dependence, competitiveness, and how African countries engage with often unconducive international trade rules that distort global markets.

In-depth analysis focuses on intra-African trade initiatives, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), trade between African countries and their major trading partners, and how the short-term shocks of Covid-19 restrictions brought about longer-term changes in informal and formal trade patterns, and sped-up shifts in digital trade.

Edited by Professor David Luke, and featuring vital contributions on trade economics, international law and sustainable development, How Africa Trades draws on the research expertise of LSE’s Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa. This volume provides information, expertise and tools for policymakers, stakeholders and scholars with an interest in understanding the dynamics of trade and in making effective policy decisions that centre development and inclusivity for Africa and its people.

Early praise for How Africa Trades

“This is an authoritative book on what needs to be done in Africa and its major trading partners to make the undersized and underperforming Africa’s trade become an engine of development, poverty reduction, industrialization and economic transformation. The book is a must read for anyone concerned about the future of Africa and the world.”

—Justin Yifu Lin, Professor, Institute of New Structural Economics, Peking University, Former Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, the World Bank


“This book – which is written in a very clear and accessible language to non-specialist audiences – should be read by all who desire to have a better understanding of how African countries can navigate the increasingly complex global trade environment.”

—Dr. Zainab Usman, Director of the Africa Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington D.C.


“A valuable guide to Africa’s global and intra-continental trade links with a wealth of detail and analysis on trade regimes and policy issues.”

—Martin Meredith, author of The State of Africa and The Fortunes of Africa


“An unusual masterpiece which candidly lays out the challenging constraints on African trade but offers policy options for circumventing them. David Luke and contributors have produced a powerful rebuttal to the new trade pessimism.”

—Célestin Monga, Harvard Kennedy School

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark Africa.