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Volume Seven Winter 2014-Spring 2015 Numbers 3-4.
AFRICA IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY: EXAMINING TRADE DIVERSIFICATION AND NEW PATTERNS OF
TRADE IN SOME LARGE AFRICAN ECONOMIES
Tsitsi Effie Mutambara
Department of Economics and Economic History
Grahamstown, Republic of South Africa
Published Online: March 15, 2017
The article investigates the extent of changes in trade patterns and diversification in selected African countries over the period 2001-2013. The trade intensity index, revealed trade barriers index, and the export concentration index were used. Examined over several years, each index gives insights into new trade patterns and diversification that emerge in each country. In some cases, the extent to which the countries trade intensively with some of their trading partners changed as they adopted new trading partners and diversified their trade. In some cases, the trade barriers indexes which serve as indicators of the possibility of trade barriers against a commodity from a particular country changed over the years in line with some of the emerging trading patterns. Since easier market access benefits both countries, this gives insights into which trade would provide more opportunities for trade benefits to accrue. Export diversification reduces risks and facilitates economic development. The export concentration indexes show a slow pace of trade diversification by Nigeria, while the patterns for South Africa and Kenya are more diversified.