The global economy is stagnating, and uncertainty about its future is rising. These trends weigh heavily on countries that depend on the production and export of a small range of products, or that…

Cecile Fruman |

Sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) impressive growth over the past decade or so has been matched by its equally impressive showing on the World Bank Group's "Doing Business" index. In 2012…

Aref Adamali, David Bridgman |

West African countries have been working for many years to develop and implement harmonized trade rules for crop inputs. While much remains to be done, new regional regulations for seed and…

John Keyser |

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is making some real progress in regional integration. After decade-long negotiations, it has just launched its own Common External Tariff (…

Erik von Uexkull, Antoine Coste |

It’s hard to get a break in the Europe and Central Asia region, it seems – even a short one. Hit hard by the troubles in the Eurozone at the beginning of the decade, emerging and developing…

Aurora Ferrari, Ilias Skamnelos |

Also available in: Français│ Español I recently returned from a trip to West Africa during which I crossed the Benin-Nigeria border by car at the Seme border post. While waiting for our passports…

Cecile Fruman |

The southern fringes of the Sahara desert host rugged lands where mankind has thrived for more than a millennium. In this vast panorama, the Inner Niger Delta stands out: In a region where limited…

Paula Caballero |

The Nigerien city of Gaya is booming. Sitting on the banks of the Niger River not far from the borders of Benin and Nigeria,  Gaya has grown from a quiet village to a hopping new hub. Its…

Anasuya Raj, Jean-François Arvis |

At the World Free Zone Convention in Izmir, Turkey, which I attended in December, an important question was asked:  Have "Special Economic Zones" entered the 21st Century?  Evidence…

Martin Norman |

Editor's Note: "Notes From the Field" is an occasional feature where we let World Bank professionals conducting interesting trade-related projects around the globe explain some of…

Miles McKenna |