The Free Trade Policy of the World Trade Organization: An Assessment of the Impact on the Industrial Development in Africa

Abstract

This study focused on the impact of the free trade policy of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on the industrial development in Africa. It obtained its data from the secondary sources such as textbooks, journals, articles published and unpublished from libraries in Abuja and the internet. The data were analyzed using content analysis and the liberalist theory which revolves around three interrelated principles: rejection of power politics as the only possible outcome on international relations; accentuates mutual benefits and international cooperation and; implements international organizations and nongovernmental actors for shaping state preferences and policy choices was adopted as a framework for the purpose of analysis. The findings revealed that the Third World or developing countries have not benefitted from WTO agreement. It was realized that Foreign Direct Investment has not contributed significantly to the growth of the African Nations’ Economy. The paper, therefore, recommended as follows: African leaders should summon the political will and commitment to limit the negative impact of WTO’s free trade policies on their economies generally and the industrial sectors in particular. To do this, specific policy options including, but not limited to the followings, should be pursued with vigour: Adopt protectionist economic and industrial policies with emphasis on key sectors including the agricultural sectors; Promote and protect local industrial development that is capable of producing basic goods and services; Improve and strengthen their decision-making machinery and institutions; Limit import of major goods and services which they have relative comparative advantage and; Identify their specific interest and objective in respect of the subject of the WTO. This can be done through the process of a broad-based and in-depth examination of the issues and their implications. For the WTO itself, it should ensure that it carries all countries along by giving them equal treatment no matter their statuses etc.

Keywords: Impact, Liberalism, free trade, policies, world trade organisation

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 62-79 (Download PDF)

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