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To what extent have the fair-trade initiatives increased standard of living in West Africa - Research Paper Example

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This current essay is being carried out to establish whether Free Trade agreements have helped or hindered the progress of the countries of West Africa, with particular focus on the standard of living of the populations in those countries…
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To what extent have the fair-trade initiatives increased standard of living in West Africa
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Extract of sample "To what extent have the fair-trade initiatives increased standard of living in West Africa"

Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that since the end of World War II, the industrialized countries of the world have been befitting from consistently increasing world trade patterns. International trade fuels both national economies and the international economy, determining the wellbeing of individual States, and directly affecting the standard of living of the population of every country in the world. In West Africa, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is the overarching economic and political structure, within which unrestricted trade is meant to take place. This structure was set up to promote “cooperation and integration” leading to an economic union in West Africa “in order to raise the living standards of its peoples”. A Pan-Africanist slant is also evident in that the intention to promote progress and development on the whole continent is explicitly stated. Thus a common market was an original intention; regional economic reform would have to take place; integration particularly in food, agriculture and natural resources was seen as vital; and the establishment of a common market through liberalization of trade among West African States was envisioned. An important aspect of the ECOWAS initiative is also to ensure a “common external tariff” and trade policy with regard to third countries. Additionally, a stated intention in the ECOWAS revised treaty is to promote “balanced development” and a focus on the “special problems of each Member State particularly those of land-locked and small island Member States”....
This has not happened. The elites – both within countries and within the region continue to be advantaged, while the poor continue to grow in number, and in levels of poverty. Analysis surrounding the economies of West Africa, their political stances, and their trade policies, as well as the world economy, and West Africa’s part in it will be examined in this paper. The information from the analyses is organized in the Findings Section, to show the realities of the situation in West African countries and their economic relationships with particularly the Western, developed world. In the Comments and Recommendations Section of this essay, it is proposed that the exploitative relationship which has existed between African developing or underdeveloped countries (and other developing countries) since slavery and colonialism has not been redressed. Instead, initiatives such as Free Trade agreementsNote that this has been introduced earlier, extensively within associations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have no chance of success because of the nature of the trade balance which continues to exist between developing countries and the developed world. All that is maintained is the advantage of the Western power blocs over the developing world, in the guise of aiming to stimulate and improve conditions in these countries. The essay concludes with a summary comment on the nature of the economic, political and power relationships between the countries of West Africa, as well as ECOWAS and the world. Analysis There tends to be a bias toward the economic principles, values and norms of the West in much writing about the economics of West Africa ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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