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UNCTAD’s Annual Economic Development in Africa Report 2022

UNCTAD is critical of African states for neglecting the potentially transformative role of high knowledge-intensive services, such as information and communications technology services and financial services. The Report believes that the lack of these skills is among the key reasons why export diversification remains a challenge in Africa. Effectively addressing barriers to services trade under the AfCFTA will be key to unleashing the transformative role of services in enhancing the diversity and complexity of products from Africa. UNCTAD recommends that for export diversification strategies to be impactful in Africa, policies need to be in place that enhance inclusive access to innovative financing technologies, including for small and medium-sized enterprises. Leveraging high knowledge-intensive services to increase productivity and improve competitiveness in the private sector will be key to achieving higher value-added diversification and growth under the AfCFTA.


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