Global Value Chains in Africa

Neil Foster-McGregor, Florian Kaulich & Robert Stehrer

#2015-024

This paper provides evidence on the extent of Global Value Chain (GVC) participation by Africa as a region and for individual African countries. We find that Africa as a whole is heavily involved in GVCs, being more engaged in GVCs than many developing country regions as well as developed countries such as the USA. This overall finding hides the fact that much of Africa's participation in GVCs is in upstream production, with African firms providing primary inputs to firms in countries further down the value chain. The possibility of upgrading within GVCs in Africa is likely to be limited therefore, something which the current analysis suggests. Despite this, we observe a great deal of heterogeneity in terms of GVC participation and upgrading across African countries, with a number of African countries participating in GVCs to a relatively large extent.

JEL Classification: F15, F23

Keywords: Africa, Global Value Chains, Upgrading

  


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