In the 2000s African export performance has experienced an unexpected turnaround. Whereas in the 1980s and 1990s, export growth was weak and African exports as a share of global trade declined markedly, in the 2000s the value of African exports increased rapidly, above all towards non-traditional trading partners in Asia and elsewhere. This book chapter argues, however, that it is misleading to see these changes in terms of export values and that much of the improvement in performance was due to higher prices, rather than a fundamental change in export competitiveness. Moreover, where export volumes did expand, it was largely associated with new resource finds and demand from the emerging markets, particularly China, rather than from an expansion in traditional markets.
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