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 |

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 recent acceleration in growth rates across much of sub-Saharan Africa may not be purely commodity-driven, but for many of the region’s economies macro-economic stability is still dependent on…

Ken Opalo |

When economists think about price shocks, they consider how a change in price will affect the supply and demand of a product. But when that product is human – i.e., a worker – interpreting the…

Elizabeth Ruppert Bulmer, Claire H. Hollweg |

It’s 38°C (99°F) in Ouagadougou, the capitol city of Burkina Faso, today—and it’s been this hot all week. The end of the warm season is near, but in places like Ouaga (pronounced WAH-ga, as its…

Paul Brenton, Miles McKenna |

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 |

Part of the World Bank’s new vision is to step up its efforts to help fragile and conflict-afflicted states break the vicious cycle of poverty. But this is no easy task.   The destruction of…

Massimiliano Calì |

Many countries use trade policy to protect their own consumers from spikes in international food prices. It turns out that this well-intentioned practice can actually do more harm than good.…

Will Martin, Kym Anderson |

In February, the United Nations named 2013 the Year of Quinoa and made the president of Bolivia and the first lady of Peru special ambassadors to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).…

Jose Daniel Reyes, Julia Oliver |