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Africa and the WTO Doha Round: An Overview

Developing countries, and especially Least Developed Countries, were promised a WTO ’Development Round’ at Doha in 2001. In fact, the Round’s agenda became dominated by topics and proposals of little relevance and at times threatening for some groups of developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, African engagement in the Round has been generally low and defensively articulated, though some fringe gains have been achieved. If and when the Round is revived, these could be complemented by a more aggressive stance on preferences. This, in turn, will need to be backed by greater exploitation of the heightened role of moral argument in international political and economic discourse.

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