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Emerging African Economies and Their Role in Shaping International Trade and Investment Architecture in World Economy


James Jacob Department Of Political Science University Of Abuja, Abuja. 

Ogbanje Ike Joseph Department Of Political Science University Of Abuja, Abuja. & Ishaka Dele Department Of Political Science University Of Abuja, Abuja. 


This paper discusses the role of the emerging African economies in shaping the world economy. This work used a case study of some selected African countries to analyze their immense contribution to the global economy. The paper is located within the framework of dependency theory which talks about the parasitic relationship between the periphery, in this case, the African countries and the center which is the western capitalist countries. In the methodology, the work was carried out using qualitative research method. Data was collected from already existing literature while the analysis was carried out with qualitative content analysis method. The findings of the study revealed that Africa’s major export earnings are from primary products which do not translate into meaningful import substitution. The study therefore recommended that African countries should diversify their economies, boost their exports 

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to finance investment, improve their investment in infrastructural development, that there is need for strong, patriotic and nationalistic leadership, that will fight corruption and ensure regional integration that will help them have a formidable position in the world economy. 

Key Words: Emerging African Economies, International Trade, investment, World Economy 


There are two ways of picturing Africa in the context of global capitalism. One is from the point of view of the people living and hoping to improve their lot in sub-Saharan Africa’s fifty-four nation-states with a considerable variety of kinds of “insertion” into the global capitalist economy, and a corresponding range of experiences of development (or the lack of it). The other is from the point of view of capital which is scanty in Africa. As such, Africa is a continent of people in need of a better life. It is simply a geographic—or geological—terrain offering little opportunity to crate capital. On the first view, what stands out are two general features. First, besides South Africa, the one large industrialized country in the continent, there are just six other countries with such drive of becoming industrialized—Congo/DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda—and one super-large country, Nigeria. Between them, these eight countries account for 61 percent of all Africans south of the Sahara (and Nigeria, with an estimated 197 million inhabitants in 2017 according to United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2017), contains almost one in five of them); the other forty six are small, including twelve mini-states with populations of less than two million ( 

Second, however, is the fact that, in terms of income per head, size and wealth do not go together: Nigeria is one of the poorest African countries, in spite of its formidable oil production, with a per capita income of only 

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240 dollars in 1996 (ADB Report, 1998). The so-called “middle-income” African countries are Senegal, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo DR, Cameroon, Botswana, Gabon, and South Africa. Yet with the exception of South Africa and its near neighbors, and the partial exception of Cote d’Ivoire, most of the citizens of these countries are often no better off than their apparently poorer neighbors: most of the “middle income” countries are mineral exporters, their per capita income figures boosted by the value of the oil and other minerals that the big transnational corporations extract and export from them (World Bank Report, 2012). 

In most of Africa, even in countries with major mineral exports, economic life still largely revolves around an agricultural cycle that remains acutely dependent on capricious weather conditions. Growing pressure of population means a constantly expanding landless labor force, partly working for subsistence wages on other people’s land, partly unemployed or underemployed in the cities, sometimes migrating to neighboring countries (e.g., from Burkina Faso to Cote d’Ivoire), living on marginal incomes and with minimal state services, including education and health. This situation seems set to persist, or get worse; after a moment of optimism in the mid-1990s, no one now expects to see the 5 percent growth in GDP per annum that is agreed to be necessary for any significant reduction in poverty (given average population growth in the sub-continent of 2.7 percent per annum), let alone any hope of even beginning to close the gap with the industrialized (or post-industrial) world (Polanyi, 1957). As the Economic Commission for Africa puts it, “according to current estimates, close to 50 percent of the population [of Africa] live in absolute poverty. This percentage is expected to increase at the beginning of the next millennium and to prevent that, African countries will need…to create seventeen million new jobs each year [merely] to stabilize the unemployment rate at the current level” (ECA Report, 2015). And this is not something the Commission seems to think likely. 

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Even the ADB Report (1998) has, in spite of every effort to identify bright spots, a somber tone overall, and understandably so. In the foreseeable future, there are no good reasons to think that capitalist development is going to transform the situation. Most of the problems noted above, can be attributed to insertion of the African economies to the world capitalist economy. Ever since this happened, Africa never remained the same again. This is traceable to the point where Africa had contact with the Europeans during the slave trade, and the subsequent colonialism as well as neo- colonialism. Africa as a continent even at present, own their resources but they do not control the resources. As such, her contribution to the global economy is minimal because she has the largest resources but remained the poorest. 

The paper has the following structural arrangements. The introduction captures the background to the study and the conceptual analysis in which such concepts as, the terminology of world economy, the concept of investment, emerging African economy and of course the concept of international trade are discussed. Other things captured in the paper are, theoretical framework, the causes of African underdevelopment, conclusion and recommendation. 

Theoretical Framework 

The theoretical paradigm used in this paper to abreast the impact of African economy on the international trade is dependency theory. This theory as propounded by Latin American scholars like Gunder Frank, Theotonio Dos Santos, Walter Rodney and others, is majorly on the fact that certain groups of countries (third world) have their economies conditioned by the development and expansion of another economy (western world). The pillars of dependency theory can be found in works like The Political Economy of Growth, by Paul Baran who argued that it was the search for the external outlet to invest economic surplus that indirectly led to underdevelopment. He defined economic surplus as the difference between 

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society’s actual current output and its actual current consumption. Economic surplus can be saved and invested, but it can only be generated if a country produces more than it consumes (Baran, 1959). By producing more and consuming less, the industrialised capitalist nations generated and saved a lot of economic surplus, but without corresponding internal outlets for investing the accumulated surplus. This compelled them to search for and create external outlets for the investment of the economic surplus. This led to imperialism and later, colonialism and neo-colonialism. That was why the ex-colonies (satellite states) were created and designed to serve as avenues for investments, and most importantly, as markets for finished goods from the colonizing powers (the metropole). Manufacturing which would later shape and define global economy was never encouraged in the satellite states. All these, individually, and in combination led to the underdevelopment of the productive forces which have continued to undermine development process in the Third World. In his own view, Andre Gunder Frank asserted that the colonising states constitute the “Centre” of development, while the colonies constitute the “Periphery” (Frank, 1989). Underdevelopment is not original nor the starting point of the periphery, rather it is a result of the stagnation of their development by their contact with Western Capitalist system and colonialism. This contact incorporated the colonies into the world capitalist system at a subjugated position, and thereby created development in the core and underdevelopment in the periphery. The centre (which is capitalist) cannot engender any meaningful development outside its domain. Andre Gunder Frank described this process as “the development of underdevelopment”. In consonance with the above view, Walter Rodney, in “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” posited that: 

Imperialism was in effect the extended capitalist system, which for many years embraced the whole world – one part being the exploiters and the other 

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the exploited, one part being dominated and the other acting as overlords, one part making policy and the other being dependent (Rodney, 1972:69). Moreover, apart from the aforementioned factors which now manifest in the form of globalisation, bad leadership and corruption appear to be some of the major causes of underdevelopment in the Third World. Virtually all the countries experiencing underdevelopment today have a history of corruption, bad governance and political imbroglio. 

Application of dependency theory to the discourse 

Dependency theory asserts that the wealth and prosperity of the superpowers and their allies in Europe, North America and East Asia is dependent upon the poverty of the rest of the world, including Africa. When developing countries especially African states have harvested agricultural produce and other raw materials at low cost, they generally do not export as much as would be expected. Abundant farm subsidies and high import tariffs in the developed world, most notably those set by Japan, the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy, and the United States Department of Agriculture, are thought to be the cause. Although these subsidies and tariffs have been gradually reduced, they remain high. 

Local conditions also affect exports; state over-regulation in several African nations can prevent their own exports from becoming competitive. Farmers subject to import and export restrictions cater to localized markets, exposing them to higher market volatility and fewer opportunities. When subject to uncertain market conditions, farmers press for governmental intervention to suppress competition in their markets, resulting in competition being driven out of the market. As competition is driven out of the market, farmers innovate less and grow less food further undermining economic performance. 

It is apt to mention that due to the fact that the African countries’ contribution to the global economy is marginal, their place in the international economic system is that which the western countries capitalize on to develop at the detriment of the African nation. The economy of African countries which is the periphery is structured and conditioned to fuel the development of the center which is the western capitalist countries. Africa has been conditioned to feed the economies of the center – the industrialized countries with raw materials at a price determined by the center and buy finished goods at prices determined by the center. The African countries are largely import dependent nations. 

Conceptual Framework 

The World Economy 

The world economy or global economy is the economy of the world, considered as the international exchange of goods and services that is expressed in monetary units of account (money). In some contexts, the two terms are distinguished: the “international” or “global economy” being measured separately and distinguished from national economies while the “world economy” is simply an aggregate of the separate countries’ measurements. Beyond the minimum standard concerning value in production, use, and exchange the definitions, representations, models, and valuations of the world economy vary widely. It is inseparable from the geography and ecology of Earth (Kayizzi, 1999). 

Perry (1974) argued that it is common to limit questions of the world economy exclusively to human economic activity, and the world economy is typically judged in monetary terms, even in cases in which there is no efficient market to help valuate certain goods or services, or in cases in which a lack of independent research or government cooperation makes establishing figures difficult. Typical examples are illegal drugs and other black market goods, which by any standard are a part of the world economy, but for which there is by definition no legal market of any kind. 

However, even in cases in which there is a clear and efficient market to establish a monetary value, economists do not typically use the current or official exchange rate to translate the monetary units of this market into a single unit for the world economy, since exchange rates typically do not closely reflect worldwide value. An example is in a case where the volume or price of transactions is closely regulated by the government. Rather, market valuations in a local currency are typically translated to a single monetary unit using the idea of purchasing power. This is the method used for estimating worldwide economic activity in terms of real US dollars or euros. However, the world economy can be evaluated and expressed in many more ways. It is unclear, for example, how many of the world’s 7.13 billion people have most of their economic activity reflected in these valuations (Kayizzi, 1999). 

According to the World Bank Report (2014), the following 13 countries or regions have reached an economy of at least US$2 trillion by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in nominal or Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. 


To invest is to allocate money (or sometimes another resource, such as time) in the expectation of some benefit in the future. In finance, the expected future benefit from investment is a return. The return may consist of capital gain and/or investment income, including dividends, interest, rental income etc. Investment generally results in acquiring an asset, also called an investment. If the asset is available at a price worth investing, it is normally expected either to generate income, or to appreciate in value, so that it can be sold at a higher price (or both). Investors generally expect higher returns from riskier investments. Financial assets range from low-risk, low-return investments, such as high-grade government bonds, to those with higher risk and higher expected commensurate reward, such as emerging markets stock investments. Investors, particularly novices, are often advised to adopt an investment strategy and diversify their portfolio. Diversification has the statistical effect of reducing overall risk (Polanyi, 1957). The investment in this sense is that which is done by the emerging African countries. These investments that they have ploughed their monies on cannot be equated with that which is done by the advanced capitalist countries. Rather, Africa is the one running cap in hand begging for foreign investors to come into the continent and invest. Attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is not bad in itself but how have those FDI’s benefitted the African economies and what is the African continent doing to checkmate these FDI’s? Another question that is begging for answer is how can Africa match investment for investment and also take opportunities of frameworks like Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). 

International Trade 

International trade is the exchange of goods and services between countries. This type of trade gives rise to a world economy, in which prices, or supply and demand, affect and are affected by global events. Political change in Asia, for example, could result in an increase in the cost of labor, thereby increasing the manufacturing costs for an American sneaker company based in Malaysia, which would then result in an increase in the price that you have to pay to buy the tennis shoes at your local mall. A decrease in the cost of labor, on the other hand, would result in you having to pay less for your new shoes (Fage, 1978). Fage (1978) asserts that trading globally gives consumers and countries the opportunity to be exposed to goods and services not available in their own countries. Almost every kind of product can be found on the international 

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market: food, clothes, spare parts, oil, jewelry, wine, stocks, currencies and water. Services are also traded: tourism, banking, consulting and transportation. A product that is sold to the global market is an export, and a product that is bought from the global market is an import. Imports and exports are accounted for in a country’s current account in the balance of payments. sees international trade as the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. It is the exchange of goods and services among nations of the world. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). While international trade has existed throughout history, its economic, social, and political importance has been on the rise in recent centuries. International trade dates back to the dawn of human civilizations. Trade between countries has strongly influenced the consumption and income patterns that we observe in today’s world. Strange as it might seem in view of the escalating costs—transaction, monetary, and environmental costs— associated with international trade in goods and services in recent times, autarky was not the natural choice for countries. As such, states leverage on the opportunities provided by international trade to develop their economies. 

Emerging African Economies 

Opinions about which country qualifies to be called an emerging African economy are sharply divided. While in some quarters like the World Bank Report (2012), approximately 1.07 billion people were living in 54 different countries in Africa and these countries are emerging economies because of their recent growth that has been due to growth in sales in commodities, services, and manufacturing. Sub Saharan Africa, in particular, is expected to reach a GDP of $29 trillion by 2050 but its income inequality will be a major deterrent in wealth distribution. In ADB Report (2013), Africa was identified as the world’s poorest inhabited continent; however, the World Bank expects that most African 

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countries will reach “middle income” status (defined as at least US$1,000 per person a year) by 2025 if current growth rates continue. In 2013, Africa was the world’s fastest-growing continent at 5.6% a year, and GDP is expected to rise by an average of over 6% a year between 2013 and 2023 (Global Trade Atlas Report, 2014). Growth has been present throughout the continent, with over one-third of Sub-Saharan African countries posting 6% or higher growth rates, and another 40% growing between 4% to 6% per year (ADB Report, 2013). After the Scramble for Africa in the 1880s and the partitioning of the continent among European powers, the continent’s former trade routes were replaced with new ones and its economies were radically changed. Colonial interests created new industries to feed European appetites for goods such as palm oil, rubber, cotton, precious metals, spices and other goods. Following the independence of African countries during the 20th century, economic, political and social upheaval consumed much of the continent (Global Trade Atlas Report, 2012). An economic rebound among some countries has been evident in recent years, however. The Global Trade Atlas Report on the Economic Outlook of Africa (2012) asserted that the emerging African economies are Angola (oil), Ethiopia (agriculture on cut flowers), Uganda (oil), Ghana (gold), Malawi (agriculture), Mozambique (mining of coal), Nigeria (oil), Rwanda (telecommunication), and lastly, Tanzania (Gold). The Center for Global Development Report on the Emerging African Economies (2002-2012) submitted that the emerging African economies are 17 because they were able to boost their economic growth per capita from zero between 1975 and 1995 to 3.2 between 1996 and 2008. That growth has powered a full 50% increase in average incomes in just 13 years. The countries are: Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Botswana, Benin, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Kenya. The dawn of the African economic boom (which is in place since 2000s) was similar to the Chinese economic boom that had emerged in Asia since late 

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1970s. Currently, South Africa and Nigeria ranks among the continent’s largest economies, with Egypt economically scrambling and suffering from the recent political turmoil. Equatorial Guinea possessed Africa’s highest GDP per capita albeit allegations of human rights violations. Oil-rich countries such as Algeria, Libya and Gabon, and mineral-rich Botswana emerged among the top economies since the 21st century, while Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo, potentially among the world’s richest nations, have sunk into the list of the world’s poorest nations due to pervasive political corruption, warfare and brain drain of workforce. Botswana remains the site of Africa’s longest and one of the world’s longest periods of economic boom (1966-1999) (ADB Report, 2013). 

Selected Emerging African Economies and Their Role in World Economy South Africa 

According to Center for Global Development (2012), since the end of apartheid foreign trade in South Africa has increased, following the lifting of several sanctions and boycotts which were imposed as a means of ending apartheid. South Africa is the second largest producer of gold and is the world’s largest producer of chrome, manganese, platinum, vanadium and vermiculite, the second largest producer of ilmenite, palladium, rutile and zirconium. It is also the world’s third largest coal exporter. Although, mining only accounts for 3% of the GDP, down from around 14% in the 1980s. South Africa also has a large agricultural sector and is a net exporter of farming products. Principal international trading partners of South Africa—besides other African countries—include Germany, the United States, China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Spain. Chief exports include corn, diamonds, fruits, gold, metals and minerals, sugar, and wool. Machinery and transportation equipment make up more than one-third of the value of the country’s imports. Other imports include chemicals, manufactured goods, and petroleum. Exports from South Africa increased by 27 percent to ZAR 90.68 billion in February of 2016 from ZAR 71.39 billion in January, mainly due to higher sales of vehicles and transport equipment (109 percent), precious metals and stones (52 percent), vegetable products (35 percent) and machinery and electronics (28 percent). In contrast, exports of mineral products dropped 8 percent. South African exports major destinations were Germany (8.2 of total exports), the US (8 percent), China (7.4 percent), Botswana (5.3 percent) and Japan (4.9 percent). Exports in South Africa averaged 15015.29 ZAR Million from 1957 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 93133.20 ZAR Million in November of 2015 and a record low of 55.80 ZAR Million in August of 1958. Exports in South Africa is reported by the South African Revenue Service (Global Trade Atlas Report, 2012). South Africa is rich in mineral resources and is the world’s biggest exporter of chromium and platinum (9 percent of total exports) and the second largest exporter of manganese (9 percent). Other exports include: iron ores (14 percent), motor vehicles and car parts (9 percent), machinery and mechanical appliances (7 percent), gold (7 percent), coal (6 percent) and diamonds (2 percent). Main export partners are: China (13 percent of total exports), the United States (8 percent), Japan (7 percent), Botswana (5 percent) and Germany (5 percent). Others include Namibia, the Netherlands and the UK (Center for Global Development, 2012). South Africa through her contribution to the global economy has succeeded in promoting regional economic cooperation and integration with the establishment of Southern African Development Commission (SADC). South Africa and the emerging economies are the main drivers of economic growth and economic dynamism in the world today. “It is estimated that the 20-odd emerging economies will be responsible for something like 61% of global growth over the next few decades and that these countries were already responsible for something like one third of world trade,” (IMF Report, 2016). Also important is that South Africa has consolidated and built new mutually beneficial trade and investment relations with dynamic economics and dynamic sectors across the world. South Africa is also instrumental to the establishment of BRICS which was a huge advantage in consolidating and building a relationship with the fastest growing economies and most important leading economies in the emerging world. 


According to the Federal Office of Statistics Report (FOS) (2016), shipments from Nigeria although dropped by 45 percent year-on-year to 533.8 million naira in December 2015 due to falling oil prices in the last months of 2015. In the last quarter of the year, sales sank 29.7 percent. Exports in Nigeria averaged 365390.38 Million naira from 1981 until 2015, reaching an all-time high of 2648881.76 Million naira in December of 2011 and a record low of 322.93 Million naira in February of 1983. Exports of commodities (oil and natural gas) is the main factor behind Nigeria’s growth and accounts for more than 91% of total exports. In 2014, 43% of total sales went to Europe; 29% to Asia; 13% to America and 12% to Africa. A quick retrospect of the export profile of Nigeria points out that export earnings which stood at 339 million naira in 1960 rose steadily in Naira terms in the later of the decade. By 1977, exports stood at 7,881.7 million naira. Between 1960 and 1977, value of exports grew by 19 per cent. It should be noted that before 1972, most of the exports were agricultural commodities like cocoa, palm produce, cotton and groundnut (Kayizzi, 1999). Thereafter, minerals, especially crude petroleum, became significant export commodities. Imports also increased in value during the period. By 1960, imports were valued atM432 million. They increased to N756.0 million and M8.132 million in 1970 and 1978 respectively, rising to N124,612.7 million in 1992 and N681,728.3 million in 1997. The bulk of the imports were finished and semi-finished goods. However, from 1974, food imports became noticeable in Nigeria’s external trade. The country had an unfavourable trade balance from 1960 to 1965, partly because of the aggressive drive to import all kinds of machinery to stimulate the industrialisation strategy pursued immediately after independence. 

Thereafter, export of crude petroleum guaranteed a favourable trade balance (Kayizzi, 1999). Based on the oil and non-oil dichotomy, the oil sector dominates exports while the non-oil sector overwhelms imports. Between 1960-1970 and 1970- 1978, oil exports grew by 44.6 per cent and 31.6 per cent respectively. For the same period, non-oil exports showed marginal growth of 1.2 per cent and 6.6 per cent. It is clear from the analysis above, that during structural adjustment, importation of consumer goods. Durable consumer goods, capital goods and raw materials continued to be on the increase. One of the aims of the present economic reform programmes is to reduce imports. However, exported manufactures registered remarkable growth for the period 1988-1990 (almost 39 per cent) (Kayizzi, 1999). From the above analysis, one can safely submit that Nigeria’s role in the global economy is that of a ‘weeping baby’ of globalization because the country has been at the receiving end. Nigeria is a cripple giant in the globalization wave because situating her economy in the global trend and the dynamic consequences of the process of global economy the role she plays in the international capitalist system is very marginal. This is largely due to the fact that what Nigeria brings to the table is majorly primary products compared to western capitalist countries that have dominated the global market with finished or industrial goods. Although, Nigeria’s role has not been impressive but she has contributed immensely to the establishment of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and fostered sub-regional economic cooperation and integration that has impacted the global economy a great deal and she has also been at the vanguard of promoting neo-liberal economic ideology and international trade. 


Oil export is central to the Egyptian economy. Egypt produces 630,600 barrels of oil a day, and exports 155,200 barrels per day, approximately. However, the country has huge oil reserves, 37 billion barrels proven and potentially more in uncharted areas, which can act as fuel for the economy for coming decades. Apart from crude oil and petroleum products, the 

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country also exports metal products, cotton, textiles and chemicals. Before World War II, cotton made up 90% of Egypt’s exports, while cotton textiles had grown to 16% of exports by 1970. By 1985, however, oil had come to dominate trade, making up around 80% of exports. EU and the US are the biggest exporting markets for Egyptian oil and other products. Italy has the largest share of the Egyptian export pie, accounting for 9.4% of the total volume. It is followed by the US (7.1%), India (6.2%), Spain (6.1%), Syria (5.5%), Saudia Arabia (4.6%), Japan (4.5%) and Germany (4.5%). Exports in Egypt decreased to 1373 USD Million in January from 1995 USD Million in December of 2015. Exports in Egypt averaged 528.30 USD Million from 1957 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 2991.20 USD Million in June of 2008 and a record low of 12.63 USD Million in July of 1959 (Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics Report, 2016). In Egypt, exports account for about a quarter of GDP. The major exports are oil and other mineral products (32 percent of total exports), chemical products (12 percent), agricultural products, livestock and others fats (11 percent) and textiles (10.5 percent, mainly cotton). Other exports include: base metals (5.5 percent), machinery and electrical appliances (4.5 percent) and foodstuff, beverages and tobacco (4 percent). Major export partners are Italy, Spain, France, Saudi Arabia, India and Turkey. Others include: United States, Brazil and Argentina (Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics Report, 2016). Egypt’s role and current position in the global economy stands on relatively solid ground and she is not in need of drastic overhaul. She has initiated economic cooperation such as the establishment of a Mediterranean Free Trade Zone, and has also been the attraction of foreign investment from the western world. Egypt has granted greater access for Egyptian goods in the global markets which has helped to create an environment for the attainment of mutual and collective interest. All these have helped Egypt to make a significant improvement in her cultural relations on a global scale. 

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Exports in Kenya averaged 26574.98 Million KES from 1998 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 59405 Million KES in July of 2015 and a record low of 9007 Million KES in January of 1999 (Central Bank of Kenya Report, 2016). Agricultural products are central to Kenya’s export industry with horticultural and tea being the most important. Other export items include textiles, coffee, tobacco, iron and steel products, petroleum products, cement. Kenya main exports partners are UK, Netherlands, Uganda, Tanzania, United States and Pakistan Kenya’s major exports to the world include: Tea, Coffee, Sisal and sisal products Fish and fish products, Fresh fruits and vegetables, Nuts, Dairy products, Honey, Cut flowers, Handcrafts, Tobacco and tobacco products ,Plastics, Rubber, Raw hide and skins, Paper and paper board, Woven textile products, Petroleum products, Cement, Pyrethrum extracts, Livestock and livestock products, Processed foods, Textiles and apparels, Aluminum, iron & steel, Limestone, Soda ash, Fluorspar, Precious and semi-precious stones and tourism (Central Bank of Kenya Report, 2016). The largest destination for Kenya’s exports is the East African Community (Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi) and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA). Kenya’s exports to the region are dominated by manufactured and semi-manufactured products, including refined petroleum products, metal scrap, beer, cigarettes, oils, perfumes, articles of plastic, consumer products and fabrics and exports agricultural products like tea of where our main markets are Pakistan, Egypt, UK. The European Union (EU) is the second most important export destination for Kenya’s products. Kenya is the lead exporter of flowers to the European Union (EU) with a market share of over 35%. EU is also the principal importer of Kenya fresh produce (fresh fruits and vegetables) Other major export destinations include, United States of America, Middle East and Asia region (ECA Report, 2015). As a result of the above, Kenya has built a strong external position and she is now in a favorable condition to maximize the opportunities in the international financial markets. Kenya has become more integrated in the 

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global economy and has contributed immensely in the provision of products that their utility is of high demand in the global market. For instance, products like flower, cement, textile, livestock products and coffee are not in short supply in the global market because Kenya has made them handy. 

Prospects of the Emerging African Economies 

According to the Center for Global Development Report (2002-2012), the following are the prospects for the emerging African economies: 

i. Democratic and accountable government: 

Democracy means not only elections but greater adherence to basic political and civil rights, more freedom of the press, and stronger political institutions. Not all of the emerging countries are democracies, but there has been a clear shift toward greater political accountability and improved governance more broadly. With the end of the cold war and apartheid in the 1990s, authoritarian leaders were forced to give way for democratic governments. The number of democracies in sub- Saharan Africa jumped from just 3 in 1989 to 23 in 2008. 

ii. More sensible economic policies: 

Twenty years ago, nearly all African economies were affectively bankrupt, with large budget deficits, double-digit inflation, growing debt burdens, thriving black markets, shortages of basic commodities, and rising poverty. Economic mismanagement and the heavy hand of the state scared off investors, provoked capital flight, and led to stagnation and rising poverty. In the late 1980s, the emerging countries began to implement much stronger economic policies. Today, black markets are but a distant memory. Budget and trade deficits are more sustainable. The role of the state is smaller, the business environment is friendlier, and trade and investment barriers are lower.

 iii. Robust relationship with the international community: 

The 1980s, debt crisis hit Africa particularly hard. Stagnant economies and heavy borrowing created huge debt burdens. As the crisis deepened, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) took on a much more prominent role, and IMF-World Bank “stabilization and structural adjustment” programmes became central to economic policymaking and the relationship between African countries and the donor community. Some middle-income countries began to resolve their debt problems in the early 1990s, but it took another decade or more for low-income countries to get out from under their debt burdens through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). Of the 40 countries eligible for HIPC programme, 36 have received at least the first stage of HIPC debt relief (Center for Global Development Report, 2002- 2012). Today, the debt crisis is finally winding down. Debt burdens are significantly lower, freeing up financial resources and relieving the time burden on senior policymakers. But perhaps even more important, relationships with donors have become much healthier. Country-led Poverty Reduction Strategies have replaced structural adjustment programmes at the center of policymaking, providing a stronger basis for donor support to bolster future development going forward. 

iv. New technologies creating new opportunities for business and political accountability: 

Cell phones are becoming ubiquitous across Africa, and internet access is growing quickly. In the most remote corners of the countryside, cell phones are relaying information on prices and shipments of goods in real time and facilitating the transfer of funds with simple text messages. The internet is opening new economic opportunities and creating jobs that did not exist before, such as data entry and other services. And both are widening political involvement by enabling the debate and flow of information that are the backbone of political accountability and transparency. 

v. A new generation of policymakers, activists, and business leaders: 

A new generation of savvy, sharp, and entrepreneurial leaders is emerging across Africa. They are rising through the ranks of government, starting up businesses, working as local representatives of multinational corporations, leading local NGOs and activist groups, and taking an increasing role in political leadership. They are fed up with the unacceptable governments and economic stagnation of the past and are bringing new ideas and new vision, often fortified by travel abroad and a globalized outlook. With the new generation at the helm, Africa’s future looks increasing bright. 

Conclusion and Recommendations 

What role can Africans—and African states—themselves expected to play at this global level in any attempts to transform capitalist structures that negatively frame the continent’s prospects? While Africa’s collective long- term prospects are strong, the growth trajectories of its individual countries differs. Even with this prospects Africa is relegated to the margins of the global economy, with no immediate translation for continental development along capitalist lines. Population growth has outstripped production growth; the chances of significantly raising per capita output are falling, not rising; the infrastructure is increasingly inadequate; the market for high value-added goods is minuscule. Global capital, in its constant search for new investment opportunities, finds them less and less in Africa. This does not mean that nothing is happening, let alone that no alternative is possible. Based on the above conclusions, we shall make the following recommendations are put forward: 

i. African countries should diversify their economies so that there is a paradigm shift from agrarian to urban economies, multiple sector development that will contribute to African growth and development. The share of GDP contributed by agriculture and natural resources shrinks with the expansion of the manufacturing and service sectors, which create jobs and lift incomes, raising domestic demand. On average, each 15 percent increase in manufacturing and services as a portion of GDP is associated with a doubling of income per capita (Kayizzi, 1999). 

ii. Exports should be boosted to finance investment: Emerging markets require large investments to build a modern economy’s infrastructure. Exports are the primary means to earn the hard currency for imported capital goods, which in Africa amount to roughly half of all investment. This is not to say that African countries must follow an Asian model of export-led growth and trade surpluses, but they do need exports to finance the investments required to diversify. iii. Strong leadership is another factor that can lead to the development of the African society. Therefore, African leaders should be committed, patriotic nationalistic in their approach to development in their countries. This would bring about a robust economy that will be export oriented. iv. Corruption is another thing that is a bane in Africa. As such, Africa should work assiduously to kill corruption so that it will bring about the development of the continent. v. Regional integration in the continent should be strengthened. This is because “together the stronger” cliché would help the various African states to be stronger in the international community. vi. Research and development in order to develop indigenous technological advancement and innovation that will enhance human capital development should be encouraged and financed in Africa. 


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