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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-04) Le Goff, Maëlan ; Singh, Rajun JanWhile most economists accept that, in the long run, open economies fare better in aggregate than closed ones, many fears that trade could harm the poor. African countries, for example, have realized significant improvements in trade liberalization in recent decades, yet Africa remains the poorest continent in the world. It seems that the large gains expected from opening up to international economic forces have been limited in Africa, especially for poor people. Drawing on the findings of a recently published working paper (Le Goff and Singh 2013), this note argues that the benefits of trade are not automatic, but rather depend on accompanying policies aimed at developing the financial sector, promoting primary education, and improving governance. This accompanying policy agenda allows people to take advantage of the opportunities offered by freer trade, by reallocating resources away from less productive activities to more promising ones. Trade liberalization therefore should not be implemented on its own, but with the necessary complementing policies.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-10) Radwan, Ismail ; Strychacz, NicholasThe purpose of this note is to raise awareness of Nigeria's potential as an African offshoring hub, and it is aimed primarily toward policy makers, potential private sector investors, and development partners. This note addresses the following questions: what can Nigeria do to take advantage of the benefits of global trade in services; how can the country brand itself as an offshoring destination for international investors; and what government policies are required to ensure that Nigeria plays a role in the growing Information communication technology (ICT) offshoring sector.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-08) Maimbo, Samuel ; Saranga, Tania ; Strychacz, NicholasThe use of mobile banking is an increasingly important component of national and regional economic development in Southern Africa. Mobile banking can help bring the large unbanked population into the formal financial sector, and can facilitate cross-border trade by easing the difficulty for small businesses and traders to make financial transactions. For mobile banking to reach its full potential in Southern Africa, however, African governments must establish more efficient regulatory frameworks and implement well-designed pilot programs to gain more insight into the challenges facing a full rollout of mobile banking.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-03) Brautigam, Deborah ; Farole, Thomas ; Xiaoyang, TangChina's recent moves to establish special economic zones (SEZs) in several African countries can make a significant contribution to industrialization in Africa. But the success of these projects is by no means guaranteed. Meeting the objectives of both China and African countries will require an active partnership and a framework for collaboration that includes engagement from host governments, processes for phasing-in local control, communication and enforcement of standards, and support for integration with local economies.