Food and Agriculture Global Value Chains: New Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa
In the past twenty years, production has been increasingly unbundled and shared across many countries at different levels of development. The common perception is that Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has neither been able so far to intercept the main changes in trade patterns nor enter massively into global production networks. This chapter uses the EORA Input-Output Tables and it applies to this data the gross exports decomposition method provided by Wang et al. (2013). The Global Value Chain (GVC) participation and position of SSA countries is then analysed with a focus on agricultural and food sectors. Results show a light and shadow picture. On the one hand, despite low trade shares at the global level, SSA agricultural sector turns out to be deeply involved in GVC participation and the relevance of its international linkages is increasing over time. On the other hand, SSA involvement in GVC is still limited to upstream production stages of the chain and mainly driven by the European market. This suggests a need for a new multi-stakeholder agenda to foster the capacity of SSA to take advantage of GVCs as drivers for their structural transformation, going beyond the simple narrative of upgrading.
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