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The Effects of Regional Economic Communities on Industrialization: The Case of COMESA

Isaac M.B. Shinyekwa, Corti P. Lakuma and Martin L. Munu

African Development Review, 2019, vol. 31, issue 4, 506-516

Abstract: This paper seeks to establish the contribution of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) programmes in promoting industrialization. It further seeks to establish the link between industrialization and productivity. The paper uses a gravity model to estimate a cross‐sectional time‐series (panel) dataset for the period 2001–2015. The results indicate that membership to COMESA has created large markets and promoted industrialization among member states. However, results also confirm that COMESA member states still heavily trade in industrial intermediates with non‐members. The study further reveals that the share of foreign total factor productivity (TFP) to COMESA's TFP are weaker than expected, which suggests non‐convergence to international knowledge spillovers. The study concludes that COMESA programmes have positively affected industrialization. We therefore recommend that COMESA should continue implementing strategies, policies and programmes that promote industrialization and technology transfer.

Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:bla:afrdev:v:31:y:2019:i:4:p:506-516