Understanding the Role of Aid for Trade in Enhancing Corridor Development and Regional Integration in West Africa: Lessons and Policy Directions

  • Abiola Abidemi AkinsanyaEmail author
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


This paper analyzes how Aid for Trade (AfT) is contributing to improve corridor development, regional integration, and logistics services in Africa. This research argues that in contrast to other studies showing AfT as having less positive impact on intra-regional trade in Africa, particularly in Africa, an important area where AfT is having a positive impact is in the development of transport (road) infrastructure interconnectivity. More importantly, building road networks and corridors to ease means of exchange of goods by land remains an important issue for landlocked nations and a cost-effective solution to least developed countries (LDCs) which constitute a large share of Africa.


Aid for Trade (AfT) Offical Development Assistance (ODA) Regional integration Logistic Performance Index (LPI) West Africa 


  1. Addison T, Tarp F (2015) Aid policy and the macroeconomic management of aid. World Dev 69:1–5. Scholar
  2. Adom AD (2012) Investigating the impacts of intraregional trade and aid on per capita income in Africa: case study of the ECOWAS. Econ Res Int. Scholar
  3. African Development Bank (2011) Regional integration strategy paper for West Africa 2011–2015. Retrieved from
  4. Akpan U (2014) Impact of regional road infrastructure improvement on intra-regional trade in ECOWAS. Afr Dev Rev 26(2):64–76. Scholar
  5. Alesina A, Dollar D (2000) Who gives foreign aid to whom and why? J Econ Growth 5(1):33–63. Scholar
  6. Ali M, Zeb A (2016) Foreign aid: origin, evolution and its effectiveness in poverty alleviation. Dialogue: Q J 11(1):107–125. Retrieved from
  7. Alvi E, Senbeta A (2012) Does foreign aid reduce poverty? J Int Dev 24(8):955–976. Scholar
  8. Arndt C, Jones S, Tarp F (2015) Assessing foreign aid’s long-run contribution to growth and development. World Dev 69:6–18. Scholar
  9. Ash K (2011) Aid for trade and the private sector: a partnership that works. Int Trade Forum (4):8–9. Retrieved from
  10. Asongu S (2015) The evolving debate on the effect of foreign aid on corruption and institutions in Africa. In: Arvin BM, Lew B (eds) Handbook on the economics of foreign aid, pp 313–322.
  11. Asongu S (2016) Reinventing foreign aid for inclusive and sustainable development: Kuznets, Piketty and the great policy rehearsal. J Econ Surv 30(4):736–755. Scholar
  12. Asongu SA, Jellal M (2013) On the channels of foreign aid to corruption. Econ Bull 33(3):2191–2201. Retrieved from
  13. Asongu SA, Nwachukwu JC (2017) Foreign aid and inclusive development: updated evidence from Africa, 2005–2012. Soc Sci Q 98(1):282–298. Scholar
  14. Basnett Y, Engel J (2013) Aid for trade in practice: addressing political economy of barriers to improve development outcomes. In: Rassaque M, te Velde D (eds) Assessing aid for trade: effectiveness, current issues and future directions, pp 128–150.
  15. Bauer PT (1969) Dissent on development. Scott J Polit Econ 16(3):75–94. Scholar
  16. Bauhr M, Charron N, Nasiritousi N (2013) Does corruption cause aid fatigue? Public opinion and the aid-corruption paradox. Int Stud Q 57(3):568–579. Scholar
  17. Bearce DH, Finkel SE, Pérez‐Liñán AS, Rodríguez‐Zepeda J, Surzhko‐Harned L (2013) Has the new aid for trade agenda been export effective? Evidence on the impact of US AfT allocations 1999–2008. Int Stud Q 57(1):163–170.
  18. Bigsten A, Tengstam S (2015) International coordination and the effectiveness of aid. World Dev 69(5):75–85.
  19. Boone P (1996) Politics and the effectiveness of foreign aid. Eur Econ Rev 40(2):289–329. Scholar
  20. Boone P (2005) Effective intervention: making aid work. IDEAS Working Paper Series from RePEc, 1–7. Retrieved from
  21. Brenton P, Von Uexkull E (2009) Product specific technical assistance for exports—has it been effective? J Int Trade Econ Dev 18(2):235–254. Scholar
  22. Browne S (2006) Aid and influence: do donors help or hinder?. Earthscan Publications Ltd, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  23. Burnside C, Dollar D (2000) Aid, policies, and growth. Am Econ Rev 90(4):847–868. Scholar
  24. Cadot O, de Melo J (2014) Evaluation in aid for trade: introduction to the symposium. World Econ 37(4):511–515. Scholar
  25. Cadot O, Fernandes A, Gourdon J, Mattoo A, Melo J (2014) Evaluating aid for trade: a survey of recent studies. World Econ 37(4):516–529. Scholar
  26. Calì M, Razzaque M (2013) Aid for trade: impact on Sub-Saharan Africa. In: Rassaque M, te Velde DW (eds) Assessing aid for trade: effectiveness, current issues and future directions, pp 102–127.
  27. Calì M, te Velde DW (2008) Towards a quantitative assessment of Aid for Trade. Retrieved from
  28. Clemens MA, Radelet S, Bhavnani RR, Bazzi S (2012) Counting chickens when they hatch: timing and the effects of aid on growth. Econ J 122(561):590–617. Scholar
  29. de Melo J, Wagner L (2015) Aid for Trade as finance for the Poor. IDEAS Working Paper Series from RePEc. Retrieved from
  30. de Melo J, Wagner L (2016) Aid for trade and the trade facilitation agreement: what they can do for LDCs. J World Trade 50(6):935–969. Retrieved from
  31. Deen-Swarray M, Adekunle B, Odularu G (2014) Policy recipe for fostering regional integration through infrastructure development and coordination in West Africa. In: Seck D (ed) Regional Economic Integration in West Africa, pp 29–56.
  32. Djankov S, Freund C, Pham CS (2010) Trading on time. Rev Econ Stat 92(1):166–173. Scholar
  33. Dollar D, Levin V (2006) The increasing selectivity of foreign aid, 1984–2003. World Dev 34(12):2034–2046. Scholar
  34. Doucouliagos H, Paldam M (2011) The ineffectiveness of development aid on growth: an update. Eur J Polit Econ 27(2):399–404. Scholar
  35. Doucouliagos H, Paldam M (2015) Finally a breakthrough? The recent rise in the size of the estimates of aid effectiveness. In: Arvin BM, Lew B (eds) Handbook on the economics of foreign aid, pp 325–349. /
  36. Easterly WR (2006) The white man’s burden: why the West’s efforts to aid the rest have done so much ill and so little good. Penguin Press, New York, NYCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Easterly WR (2008) Reinventing foreign aid. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  38. Economides G, Kalyvitis S, Philippopoulos A (2008) Does foreign aid distort incentives and hurt growth? Theory and evidence from 75 aid-recipient countries. Public Choice 134(3):463–488. Scholar
  39. Evenett SJ (2005) Some tough love on ‘aid for trade’. Intereconomics 40(6):326–329. Scholar
  40. Gamberoni E, Newfarmer R (2014) Aid for trade: do those countries that need it, get it? World Econ 37(4):542–554. Scholar
  41. Glennie J, Sumner A (2016) Aid, growth and poverty.
  42. Gyimah-Brempong K, Racine JS, Gyapong A (2012) Aid and economic growth: sensitivity analysis. J Int Dev 24(1):17–33. Scholar
  43. Helble MC, Mann CL, Wilson JS (2009) Aid for trade facilitation. Retrieved from
  44. Helble M, Mann C, Wilson L (2012) Aid-for-trade facilitation. Rev World Econ 148(2):357–376. Scholar
  45. Hoeffler A, Outram V (2011) Need, merit, or self-interest—what determines the allocation of aid? Rev World Econ 15(2):237–250. Scholar
  46. Hoekman B, Wilson JS (2010) Aid for trade: building on progress today for tomorrow’s future. Retrieved from /
  47. Holden P (2014) Tensions in the discourse and practice of the European Union’s aid for trade. Contemp Polit 20(1):90–102.
  48. Hühne P, Meyer B, Nunnenkamp P (2014a) Does aid for trade from the north promote south–south trade? Appl Econ Lett 21(17):1230–1233. Scholar
  49. Hühne P, Meyer B, Nunnenkamp P (2014b) Who benefits from aid for trade? Comparing the effects on recipient versus donor exports. J Dev Stud 50(9):1275–1288. Scholar
  50. Hunt J (ed) (2016) Aid and development, 3rd edn. Palgrave Macmillan, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  51. Ilorah R (2008) Trade, aid and national development in Africa. Dev South Afr 25(1):83–98. Scholar
  52. Isopi A (2015) Aid and corruption: an incentive problem. In: Arvin BM, Lew B (eds) Handbook on the economics of foreign aid, pp 305–312.
  53. Iwanow T, Kirkpatrick C (2009) Trade facilitation and manufactured exports: is Africa different? World Dev 37(6):1039–1050. Scholar
  54. Jakupec V (2016) Aid for trade: a critical analysis. In: Jakupec V, Kelly M (eds) Assessing the impact of foreign aid: value for money and aid for trade. Academic Press-Elsevier, London, UK, pp 45–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Jakupec V, Kelly M (2016) Assessing the impact of foreign aid: value for money and aid for trade. Academic Press, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  56. Jones S (2015) Aid supplies over time: addressing heterogeneity, trends, and dynamics. World Dev 69:31–43. Scholar
  57. Juselius K, Møller NF, Tarp F (2014) The long-run impact of foreign aid in 36 African countries: insights from multivariate time series analysis. Oxford Bull Econ Stat 76(2):153–184. Scholar
  58. Karns M, Mingst KA, Stiles KW (2015) International organizations: the politics and processes of global governance, 3rd edn. Lynne Rienner, Boulder, COGoogle Scholar
  59. Kaya O, Kaya I, Gunter L (2012) Development aid to agriculture and economic growth. Rev Dev Econ 16(2):230–242. Scholar
  60. Kaya O, Kaya I, Gunter L (2013) Foreign aid and the quest for poverty reduction: is aid to agriculture effective? J Agric Econ 64(3):583–596. Scholar
  61. Kingsbury D, McKay J, Hunt J, McGillivray M, Clarke M (eds) (2016) International development: issues and challenges, 3rd edn. Palgrave, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  62. Kodama M (2012) Aid unpredictability and economic growth. World Dev 40(2):266–272. Scholar
  63. Langan M, Scott J (2011) The false promise of Aid for Trade. IDEAS Working Paper Series from RePEc. Retrieved from
  64. Langan M, Scott J (2014) The aid for trade charade. Coop Confl 49(2):143–161. Scholar
  65. Lee H-H, Park D, Shin M (2015) Do developing-country WTO members receive more aid for trade (AfT)? World Econ 38(9):1462–1485. Scholar
  66. Lof M, Mekasha TJ, Tarp F (2015) Aid and income: another time-series perspective. World Dev 69:19–30. Scholar
  67. Lopez L (2015) Corruption and international aid allocation: a complex dance. J Econ Dev 40(1):35–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Martínez‐Zarzoso I (2015) The trade effect of foreign aid: an empirical perspective. In: Arvin BM, Lew B (eds) Handbook on the economics of foreign aid, pp 179–196.
  69. Martínez‐Zarzoso I, Nowak‐Lehmann F, Klasen S, Larch M (2009) Does German development aid promote German exports? Ger Econ Rev 10(3):317–338.
  70. Martínez-Zarzoso I, Nowak-Lehmann F, Parra MD, Klasen S (2014) Does aid promote donor exports? Commercial interest versus instrumental philanthropy. Kyklos 67(4):559–587. Scholar
  71. Mbekeani K (2010) Infrastructure, trade expansion and regional integration: global experience and lessons for Africa. J Afr Econ 19:88–113. Scholar
  72. Meschi E, Vivarelli M (2009) Trade and income inequality in developing countries. World Dev 37(2):287–302. Scholar
  73. Minolu C, Roddy S (2010) Development aid and economic growth: a positive long-run relation. Q Rev Econ Financ 50(1):27–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Morrissey O (2006) Aid or trade, or aid and trade? Aust Econ Rev 39(1):78–88. Scholar
  75. Mosley P, Suleiman A (2007) Aid, agriculture and poverty in developing countries. Rev Dev Econ 11(1):139–158. Scholar
  76. Moyo D (2010) Dead aid: why aid makes things worse and how there is another way for Africa. Penguin, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  77. Moyo JM, Bah E, Verdier-Chouchane A (2015) Transforming Africa’s agriculture to improve competitiveness. The Africa competitiveness report 2015, 37. Retrieved from
  78. Naito T (2012) Aid for trade and welfare. Jpn Econ Rev 63(2):216–231. Scholar
  79. Nowak-Lehmann F, Dreher A, Herzer D, Klasen S, Martínez-Zarzoso I (2012) Does foreign aid really raise per capita income? A time series perspective. Can J Econ 5(1):288–313. Scholar
  80. Nowak-Lehmann F, Martínez-Zarzoso I, Herzer D, Klasen S, Cardozo A (2013) Does foreign aid promote recipient exports to donor countries? Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv 149(3):505–535. Scholar
  81. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2003) Glossary of statistical terms: official development assistance (ODA). Retrieved from
  82. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development & World Trade Organization (2009) Aid for trade at a glance 2009: maintaining momentum. Paris, France: OECD Publishing.Google Scholar
  83. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2011) Strengthening accountability in aid for trade: the development dimension. 64123212-en
  84. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2013) Glossary of statistical terms: grants. Retrieved from
  85. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2016) Aid statistics at a glance to Africa. Retrieved from
  86. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2017) The 0.7% ODA/GNI target—a history. Retrieved from
  87. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and World Trade Organization (2011) Strengthening accountability in aid for trade.
  88. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and World Trade Organization (2013) Aid for trade at a glance 2013: connecting to value chains.
  89. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and World Trade Organization (2015) Aid for trade at a glance 2015: reducing trade costs for inclusive, sustainable growth.
  90. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and World Trade Organization (2017) Aid for trade at a glance 2017: promoting trade, inclusiveness and connectivity for sustainable development.
  91. Okada K, Samreth S (2012) The effect of foreign aid on corruption: a quantile regression approach. Econ Lett 115(2):240–243. Scholar
  92. Ostenhaus A (2015) How to mitigate corruption risks in aid flow? Retrieved from
  93. Oyejide TA, Bankole AS (2010) Aid for trade and regional integration in West Africa. Paper presented at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Expert Forum, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Retrieved from
  94. Peet R, Hartwick E (2009) Theories of development: contentions, arguments, alternatives, 2nd edn. The Guilford Press, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
  95. Pettersson J, Johansson L (2013) Aid, aid for trade, and bilateral trade: an empirical study. J Int Trade Econ Dev, 1–29.
  96. Pieterse JN (2001) Development theory: deconstruction or reconstruction. Sage, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  97. Pieterse JN (2010) Development theory. Sage, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  98. Portugal-Perez A, Wilson JS (2012) Export performance and trade facilitation reform: hard and soft infrastructure. World Dev 40(7):1295–1307. Scholar
  99. Preston PW (1996) Development theory: an introduction. Blackwell, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  100. Rajan RG, Subramanian A (2008) Aid and growth: what does the cross-country evidence really show? Rev Econ Stat 90(4):643–665. Scholar
  101. Razzaque MA, te Velde, DW (2013) Assessing aid for trade: effectiveness, current issues and future directions.
  102. Seers D (1970) The meaning of development. Ekistics 30(180):353–355. Retrieved from
  103. Shleifer A (2009) Peter Bauer and the failure of foreign aid. IDEAS Working Paper Series from RePEc. Retrieved from
  104. Silva SJ, Nelson D (2012) Does aid cause trade? Evidence from an asymmetric gravity model. World Econ 35(5):545–577. Scholar
  105. Silverman D (2013) Doing qualitative research. Sage, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  106. Skarbek DB, Leeson PT (2009) What can aid do? Cato J 29(3):391–397. Scholar
  107. Skärvall L (2012) Does Swedish aid help or hinder bilateral trade: an empirical study on the effect of Official Development Assistance and Aid for Trade. Retrieved from
  108. Stiglitz J, Charlton A (2006) Aid for Trade. Aussenwirtschaft 61(2):143–166. Retrieved from
  109. Stockemer D, Lamontagne B, Charrette J (2011) Panacea, placebo, or poison? The impact of development aid on growth. Can J Dev Stud 32(1):3–16. Scholar
  110. Sumner A, Glennie J (2015) Growth, poverty and development assistance: when does foreign aid work? Glob Policy 6(3):201–211. Scholar
  111. Tarp F (2006) Aid and development. IDEAS Working Paper Series from RePEc. Retrieved from
  112. Tembo D (2011) The private sector connection: EIF & aid for trade. Int Trade Forum (4):10–11. Retrieved from
  113. Teravaninthorn S, Raballand G (2009) Transport prices and costs in Africa: a review of the international corridors.
  114. Thomas G (2011) How to do your case study: a guide for students and researchers. Sage, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  115. Thomas G (2017) How to do your research: a guide for students, 3rd edn. Sage, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  116. Turner L, Fink A (2013) Regional aid for trade and aid effectiveness: examples from East and West Africa. In Rassaque M, te Velde DW (eds) Assessing aid for trade: effectiveness, current issues and future directions, pp 211–233.
  117. Udvari B (2014, September) Aid for trade: does it enhance the intra-trade of Sub-Saharan African integrations? Paper presented at the 16th Annual Conference of ETSG, Munich. Retrieved from
  118. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (2016) The Least Developed Countries Report 2016—the path to graduation and beyond: making the most of the process. Retrieved from
  119. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (2015) Reducing trade costs to support Africa’s transformation: the role of aid for trade. Retrieved from
  120. Van Bilzen G (2015) The development of aid. Retrieved from
  121. Vijil M, Wagner L (2012) Does aid for trade enhance export performance? Investigating the infrastructure hannel. World Econ 35(7):838–868. Scholar
  122. Wagner D (2003) Aid and trade—an empirical study. J Jpn Int Econ 17(2):153–173. Scholar
  123. Wagner L (2014) Identifying thresholds in aid effectiveness. Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv 150(3):619–638. Scholar
  124. Wang CC (2011) Aid for trade as a public good. J Int Trade Econ Dev 20(6):711–728. Scholar
  125. Wickstead MA (2015) Aid and development: a brief introduction, 1st edn.
  126. World Bank (n.d.) History. Retrieved from
  127. World Trade Organization (2005) Ministerial declaration. Retrieved from
  128. Younas J (2008) Motivation for bilateral aid allocation: altruism or trade benefits. Eur J Polit Econ 24(3):661–674. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and InvestmentAbujaNigeria

Personalised recommendations