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Submitted by Bady on
I would suggest that trade liberalization and fair trade can explain part of the successes in most of the export oriented projects. The rapid success of targeted policies, designed to remove governments and other market failures in land locked countries such as Rwanda and Mali for coffee and Mangoes respectively, suggests that neighboring countries, with similar climate and with direct access to the sea, stand to gain a bigger surplus in these sectors. In addition to fair trade, special trade agreements such as AGOA are also vastly underutilized. Identifying and removing government and markets failures to take advantage of these opportunities should be the top priority for any government on the continent. The debate on local vs foreign initiatives raised by earlier comments is irrelevant in my view. It often generates heated debate, but it is a futile exercise. It stems from the colonization vs Independence mindset, not particularly useful for policy. After all, Malians farmers care about their income far more than where the project originated, and who is doing what in the process.