The scale of unrecorded trade across the border between Nigeria, the region’s biggest economy and market, and its francophone neighbours is particularly high. Despite providing economic incentives, informal trade entails costs, complications and sometimes risks. This paper explores how policy choices and government actions continue to drive informality and the critical steps that might be taken to create a business environment that is more conducive and supportive of trade between West African neighbours on a formal basis. It goes on to examine the steps that have been taken since 2015 regarding trade promotion by West African states and considers the options for further policy action and public investment.
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