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Paul Brenton, Lead Economist, World Bank


Starting from ODI's recent work on regional infrastructure, trade facilitation and economic transformation, this session looks at how trade can further promote inclusive growth in Africa from a medium-term perspective.

The first part of the session looks at how trade processes can support growth dynamics to promote economic transformation and employment creation in the medium and long run. In particular it discusses the role of regional infrastructures and how they can affect SMEs and other more vulnerable players, looking at case studies from the East African region.

The session also focusses at the role of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) in inclusive growth. The session discusses how NTBs disproportionately affect smaller firms women-led small business in the short term, and can also prevent economic transformation in the long term. The session finally looks at innovation's role in reducing NTBs and promotes trade facilitation, bringing practical examples from the African regional economic communities. The session will also discuss current work on the measurement and the assessment of the trade and poverty effects of NTBs in East Africa.


  • Richard Newfarmer, Country Director, International Growth Center
  • Max Mendez-Parra, Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute
  • Ratnakar Adhikari, Executive Director, Executive Secretariat for the EIF at the WTO
  • Marie-Agnes Jouanjean, Former Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute