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Richard Newfarmer, Country Director Rwanda, South Sudan and Uganda, International Growth Centre


This session will look at the role of regional integration in providing platforms for export growth, particularly from SMEs. Regional integration offers new opportunities to develop SME exports, create new value chains, and incorporate the poor into the growth process through trade. The recent East African integration through the East African Community (EAC) has been greatly successful, and recent research shows large increases is trade, welfare improvements and stability as a result of it. Have past studies underestimated the growth and poverty reduction impact of African integration? If so, how can further integration in Africa be supported?

Looking specifically at the role of SMEs in the East African experience, this session will seek to answer these burning questions. To do so, the IGC has put together a panel of distinguished economists that will present a summary of past and frontier research. The panel, chaired by Richard Newfarmer, will include presentations and discussions by leading economics professors and policy makers from the region.


  • Bernard Hoekman, Professor and Director, Global Economics at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute
  • Thierry Mayer, Professor of Economics, Sciences-Po
  • Jamie De Melo,  Emeritus Professor, Université de Geneva
  • Marion Jansen, Chief Economist, International Trade Centre (ITC)