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Call For Improved African Commodity Trading


New York, Feb 19 2004 4:00PM

While industrialized countries undermine Africa's anti-poverty efforts with huge subsidies for their own commodity producers, the continent's own non-fuel exports have lost international market share over the last two decades, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said today.

Many firms and consumers in the advanced countries have benefited from low commodity prices, according to a new UNCTAD study called "Economic Development in Africa: Trade Performance and Commodity Dependence."

The report points out that "even as these countries have provided lavish protection for their own farmers from the adverse impact of volatile and generally declining real commodity prices, they have argued against deploying similar instruments to protect far harder-hit rural communities in the developing world."

The study calls for new international initiatives on commodities in the context of African development needs, calling on the international community to assume its share of responsibility by supporting a coherent policy framework that does not frustrate Africa's efforts at economic restructuring and diversification.

2004-02-19 00:00:00.000

For more details go to UN News Centre at

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