Economic Introspection: The cure for Africa's trade and general economic malaise: A critical analysis of the constraints in the generalised system of preferences as it relates to Africa

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Nchito, Mutembo
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Third world countries have always sought to be treated exclusively in international trade, receiving concessions to prop up their economies and pressing for every exception imaginable to be forwarded to them to make their international trade prospects brighter. The GATT as an instrument seeking to regulate international trade has been criticised by third world countries for expecting them to trade on an equal basis with developed economies. This among other things for instance led to the inclusion in the Havana charter article fifteen which provided that new preferences could be granted in the interest of development or reconstruction of one or more of the parties to the GATT. Further part four of the GATT was also included to recognise the peculiar development needs of L.D.Cs. To that end many exceptions to the egalitarian principal underlying the GATT have been formulated over the years, but still many developing countries are not happy with these concessions.This paper attempts to sample the L.D.Cs complaints vis-a-vis the operation of the generalised system of preferences with a deliberate emphasis on Africa which continent is of obvious interest to the writer. The paper attempts to show that even though Africa may be mistreated or mocked by a system such as the G.S.P, there is a way of benefiting from it especially one of close intra African economic co-operation which would enable Africa to give a formidable front in international trade. Chapter one, "Towards the G.S.P" is an attempt to trace the genesis of the GATT outlining its principal tenets and proceeding to epitomise the genesis of the G.S.P.Chapter two attempts to study the nature of the G.S.P and also to identify some of the weaknesses which disadvantage third world countries but seek to show that despite these the G.S.P could still be exploited to Africa's advantage. Chapter three is an attempt to discuss economic co¬operation in some depth with a view to justifying the assertion that economic co-operation could solve some of Africa's mistreatment on the international market scene and proceed to identify some efforts at economic co-operation and also some defects in the same and so suggest how we think efficacious economic co-operation could be attained.The last chapter seeks to conclude the matter by recapulating the defects pointed out in the G.S.P and seek to show how benefits could still be derived from the G.S.P. or else show that Africa is could still be economically viable with or without the G.S.P.
General agreement on trade-Africa , Commerce , Economic development-Africa , Africa-Economic Conditions