Information about Sub-Saharan Africa África subsahariana
Chapter

III Trade Liberalization by ESA Countries During the 1990s

Author(s):
Arvind Subramanian
Published Date:
September 2000
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Unilateral Liberalization in Goods

In the early 1990s, reflecting the inward-looking development policies adopted in previous decades, the trade and exchange regimes of most countries in eastern and southern Africa were characterized by multiple exchange rate systems, surrender requirements for export proceeds, high tariff protection, restrictive import licensing requirements, and other restrictive nontariff barriers. The restrictiveness of the trade regimes during the 1990s is depicted in Tables 3.1 to 3.3, which classify the trade systems based on a scheme that captures both tariff and nontariff barriers.3 As shown in Table 3.1, at the beginning of the decade, the average indicator of trade restrictiveness for the region as a whole was 9.7 (on a scale from 0 to 10, where 10 indicates the most restrictive regime). Table 3.2 shows that 16 of the 22 ESA countries had highly restrictive nontariff barriers in place, while the remaining 6 had substantial restrictions as well. Total trade taxes (including import tariffs, export levies, and other duties and charges) averaged 38 percent (Table 3.3), and tariff dispersion was quite high.4 The transparency of the tariff regime was hampered by the large number of tariff bands and by frequent changes in the classification of products. In this regard, SACU’s tariff regime offered an extreme example: the product classification was changed on a weekly or even a daily basis, thereby contributing to the high degree of unpredictability of the regime. Furthermore, governments usually tried to reduce the anti-export bias of high trade protection by granting discretionary exemptions on inputs and capital goods, thereby reducing the transparency of the trade regime and increasing opportunities for abuse and corruption.

Table 3.1Eastern and Southern Africa: Overall Trade Restrictiveness in the 1990s
Initial YearIndex1Final Year (end of period)Index1Change in IndexReversal2
Countries with restrictive regimes in 1998
Angola1991101998100Yes
Burundi1991101998100Yes
Comoros1990101998100Yes
Ethiopia19921019988-2No
Eritrea1990101998100No
Kenya19901019987-3No
Mauritius19911019987-3No
Seychelles1991101998100Yes
Zimbabwe19921019989-1Yes
Average10.09.0-1.0
Countries with moderately restrictive regimes in 1998
Madagascar19911019985-5No
Rwanda1993101998-4No
Tanzania319901019986-4Yes
Average10.05.3-4.7
Countries with moderately open regimes in 1998
Botswana19901019984-6No
Congo, Dem. Rep. of1993919974-5No
Lesotho19901019984-6No
Malawi31992719984-3Yes
Namibia19901019984-6No
South Africa19901019984-6No
Swaziland19901019984-6No
Average9.44.0-5.4
Countries with open regimes in 1998
Mozambique1991719982-5No
Uganda19911019981-9No
Zambia19911019982-8Yes
Average901.7-7.3
Average for all ESA countries975.9-3.8
Source: IMF staff estimates.

This index is based upon the classification scheme developed by Sharer and others (1998) but differs from it in two main respects. First, export tariffs are explicitly taken into account. Second, wherever a country’s trade taxes exceed 35 percent, it is accorded a 10 rating irrespective of its regime for nontariff barriers (Appendix I). A rating of between 7 and 10 classifies a country as restrictive; 5 or 6 as “moderately restrictive” 3 or 4 as “moderately open” and 1 or 2 as “open.”

A reversal is said to have occurred when trade taxes have increased or quantitative restrictions intensified during 1991–98.

Further trade liberalization measures were undertaken in 1999.

Source: IMF staff estimates.

This index is based upon the classification scheme developed by Sharer and others (1998) but differs from it in two main respects. First, export tariffs are explicitly taken into account. Second, wherever a country’s trade taxes exceed 35 percent, it is accorded a 10 rating irrespective of its regime for nontariff barriers (Appendix I). A rating of between 7 and 10 classifies a country as restrictive; 5 or 6 as “moderately restrictive” 3 or 4 as “moderately open” and 1 or 2 as “open.”

A reversal is said to have occurred when trade taxes have increased or quantitative restrictions intensified during 1991–98.

Further trade liberalization measures were undertaken in 1999.

Table 3.2Eastern and Southern Africa: Measure of Trade Restrictiveness in the 1990s: Nontariff Barrier (NTB) Regimes
Initial YearCategorizationFinal YearRestrictionsObservations on Current Situation
Countries with pervasive NTB regimes at end–1998
Angola1991Pervasive1998PervasiveAll imports subject to foreign exchange restrictions: restrictive licensing of exports and imports
Burundi1991Pervasive1998PervasiveImports subject to exchange restrictions and suspension of provision of foreign exchange for luxury products. State trading in the coffee sector
Seychelles1990Pervasive1998PervasiveCommercial imports subject to quota. Import monopoly for a large number of consumer goods.
Countries with substantial NTB restrictions at end–1993
Eritrea1990Pervasive1998SubstantialExport and import bans for a few items. State trading in tobacco and matches.
Ethiopia1992Pervasive1998SubstantialState trading in petroleum and import licensing.
Kenya1990Pervasive1998SubstantialRestrictions on exports of tea, coffee, minerals, and agricultural products
Mauritius1991Substantial1998SubstantialGovernment monopoly on oil and cement imports; state trading
Zimbabwe1992Pervasive1998SubstantialRestrictions on exports of maize, wheat, and minerals.
Countries with few NTB restrictions at end–1998
Botswana1991Pervasive1998FewFollows in general South Africa’s import regime.
Comoros1990Pervasive1998FewNo restrictive licensing for imports. Government monopoly on oil imports.
Lesotho1992Pervasive1998FewFollows in general South Africa’s import regime.
Namibia1992Pervasive1998FewFollows in general South Africa’s import regime.
Madagascar1991Substantial1998FewGovernment monopoly on oil imports: eliminated in 1999.
Malawi1992Substantial1998FewRestrictive licensing requirement for fuel (including petroleum).
Tanzania1990Pervasive1998FewGovernment monopoly on oil imports: eliminated in 1999.
Swaziland1992Pervasive1998FewFollows in general South Africa’s import regime.
South Africa1992Pervasive1998FewActive antidumping policy.
Countries with no NTB restrictions at end–1998
Congo, Dem. Rep. of1993Substantial1997NoneNo NTBs, except for health and security reasons.
Uganda1991Substantial1998NoneImport ban on cigarettes; removed in 1999.
Mozambique1993Substantial1998NoneNo NTBs, except for health and security reasons.
Rwanda1993Pervasive1998NoneNo NTBs, except for health, environmental, and security reasons.
Zambia1991Pervasive1998NoneNo NTBs, except for health, environmental, and security reasons.
Source: IMF staff estimates.
Source: IMF staff estimates.
Table 3.3Eastern and Southern Africa: Trade Tax Regimes in the 1990s
Initial YearAverage Import Tariff1Average Export Tariff2Total 3Final Year (end of period)Average Import Tariff1Average Export Tariff2Total3Change in Import Tariff1Change in Export Tariff1Change in Trade Taxes1
Countries with trade taxes greater than 25 percent in 1998
Burundi199139241199841247522334
Comoros199162367419987127449-18
Eritrea199321199860060-21
Rwanda199335185951998225285-13-13-31
Seychelles19918508541998380384-470-47
Zimbabwe199230030199832032202
Average5075644551-6-2-5
Countries with trade taxes between 15 percent and 25 percent in 1998
Angola1991242419982402400
Congo, Dem. Rep. of19932083071997175235-3-3-7
Ethiopia199279416199817421-620-64
Kenya1990440441998190196-250-25
Madagascar199130840199818018-12-8-22
Mauritius19913410461998190197-15-10-27
Tanzania19902502551998200205-50-5
Average3654219121-17-4-21
Countries with trade taxes less than 15 percent in 1998
Botswana19904504519981515-300-30
Lesotho199045045199815015-300-30
Malawi199318018199812012-60-6
Mozambique199319191998101118-9
Namibia199045045199815015-300-30
South Africa199045145199815015-300-30
Swaziland199045045199815115-301-29
Uganda19911813331998909-9-13-24
Zambia199137037199814014-230-23
Average3523713013-22-1-23
Overall average3533815115-21-2-23
Source: IMF staff estimates.

Statutory average tariff, including other duties and charges, unless indicated otherwise.

Export tax revenue in percent of total exports.

Based on the Lerner symmetry theorem, the total trade tax is defined as [(I+m)*(I+x)−1]*100 where m and x are the import and export tariff rates, respectively. Although the export tax is based on collections, there tends to be less divergence between statutory and collection rates on the export side than on the import side.

The estimate is based on import tax revenue in percent of total imports and an assumed tax collection efficiency ratio of 50 percent.

Trade-weighted average of import tariffs, including other duties and charges.

The statutory average rate (including other duties and charges) is estimated at 19 percent, based on a collection rate of 12.5 percent.

Estimate.

Export tax revenue is estimated on the basis of the statutory tariff on exports of raw cashews (14 percent).

Source: IMF staff estimates.

Statutory average tariff, including other duties and charges, unless indicated otherwise.

Export tax revenue in percent of total exports.

Based on the Lerner symmetry theorem, the total trade tax is defined as [(I+m)*(I+x)−1]*100 where m and x are the import and export tariff rates, respectively. Although the export tax is based on collections, there tends to be less divergence between statutory and collection rates on the export side than on the import side.

The estimate is based on import tax revenue in percent of total imports and an assumed tax collection efficiency ratio of 50 percent.

Trade-weighted average of import tariffs, including other duties and charges.

The statutory average rate (including other duties and charges) is estimated at 19 percent, based on a collection rate of 12.5 percent.

Estimate.

Export tax revenue is estimated on the basis of the statutory tariff on exports of raw cashews (14 percent).

Changes During the 1990s

Many countries liberalized their trade regime during the 1990s and introduced economic reform programs to reduce the role of the state in the economy and enhance private sector growth. Policy measures included price liberalization, deregulation, and privatization of state enterprises, often in the context of IMF-supported programs5 (Box 3.1) and with the support of the CBI. These policy changes reflected the recognition that reliance on administrative controls had driven much economic activity outside formal channels, depressed exports, contributed to an inefficient structure of domestic production, and hampered long-run growth. In addition, the improvement in foreign relations in the southern African region, following the demise of the apartheid regime in South Africa, strongly reduced the political motives for inward-looking economic policies. Although the nature, extent, and timing of trade liberalization in ESA countries during the 1990s differed.6 many countries made substantial progress in opening their economies during this period.

As a result of these efforts, ESA countries’ trade regimes are converging toward those of the rest of the world.7 Nevertheless, the overall restrictiveness of trade regimes in eastern and southern Africa remains higher than that of all other groups of countries in the world (Table 3.4), and not all the countries in the region have participated in the general trend toward opening their economies. One set of countries achieved relatively little or no liberalization (such as Angola, Burundi, Comoros, and Zimbabwe) and, hence, remained quite closed, while another achieved substantial liberalization, including, among others, Mozambique, Malawi, Uganda, the countries in the SACU, and Zambia.

Table 3.4International Comparison of Trade Restrictiveness Rankings, 19981
RegionOverall Rating2Tariff Rating3Nontariff Barrier Rating4
Eastern and Southern Africa5.93.51.9
Asia, excluding fast-growing countries55.3271.9
Fast-growing countries of Asia53.71.61.7
Eastern Europe (late transition)4.02.31.6
Eastern Europe (early transition) and Baltic countries61.91.41.1
Former Soviet Union3.81.61.7
Middle East and North Africa5.53.12.0
Western Hemisphere4.42.11.8
Industrial countries4.01.21.9
Source: IMF staff estimates.

Or latest year. In all indices, higher values denote greater restrictiveness.

index ranges from 1 to 10.

index ranges from 1 to 5.

index ranges from 1 to 3.

Fast-growing countries: Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia.

Comprises Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Source: IMF staff estimates.

Or latest year. In all indices, higher values denote greater restrictiveness.

index ranges from 1 to 10.

index ranges from 1 to 5.

index ranges from 1 to 3.

Fast-growing countries: Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia.

Comprises Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Trade reforms were characterized by the following elements:

  • The reduction or elimination of nontariff barriers. This comprised the elimination of import and export quotas, bans, state trading, and other nontariff barriers. As of end–1998, five countries in the region (the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia) had eliminated all nontariff barriers that were in place at the beginning of the decade—with the exception of restrictions related to health, environmental, and security reasons—while nine others had only limited restrictions (see Appendix II, Tables A5 and A6 for details of the nontariff regime as of end–1998). Thus, 14 ESA countries had few or no nontariff barriers in 1998 compared with the presence of substantial restrictive nontariff barriers in all countries at the beginning of the decade (Table 3.2). At the same time, however, the use of antidumping and safeguard measures as instruments of trade policy has received greater emphasis in the ESA region. Several countries have adopted legislation in this area, and South Africa has significantly stepped up antidumping investigations in recent years.
  • A substantial reduction in maximum and average import tariffs. For the region as a whole, average most-favored nation (MFN) import tariffs came down from 35 percent in the early 1990s to 15 percent in 1998, with significant decreases in Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, Zambia, and the SACU (Table 3.3). Maximum tariffs in the reforming countries, in many cases exceeding 100 percent at the beginning of the decade, were reduced to 25–40 percent by the end of 1998. Even some of the countries that achieved limited overall liberalization (such as Ethiopia and Kenya) brought down their maximum tariff rates considerably. The tariff reductions in reforming countries were highly correlated with reductions in nontariff barriers (Figure 3.1).
  • Reductions in effective rates of protection. Although data on effective protection rates are not available for ESA countries except South Africa, effective protection in most countries certainly declined during the 1990s, given that top rates, usually levied on consumer goods, came down faster than lower rates, levied on intermediate and primary goods.8 Tariff structures, however, continue to exhibit the typical cascading property, namely, rates are higher on consumer goods than on less processed goods.
  • A simplification of the tariff regime. With some exceptions (Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia), tariff regimes in the early 1990s were characterized by a large number of bands, ranging from over 10 to about 200 in the case of the SACU. In addition, many countries applied specific rates, variable duties, other duties and charges, and nontransparent valuation rules. Most of the reformers in the region simplified their systems by reducing the number of nonzero rates to less than six (Zambia, Uganda, and Kenya have just three nonzero bands)9 thereby limiting opportunities for misclassification and fraud. Progress in improving transparency by eliminating specific rates and integrating other duties and charges in the ad valorem tariff system has, however, been mixed.
  • The reduction or elimination of export taxes. At the beginning of the decade, almost one-half of the countries in the region imposed export taxes, with collection rates ranging from 1 percent of exports in a number of countries to 21 percent in Eritrea. With the exception of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, these countries eliminated or reduced export taxes to less than 5 percent of exports during the period under review.
  • The liberalization of exchange restrictions. With the exception of Angola and Burundi, which maintained highly restrictive systems of exchange controls, all the countries in the region substantially liberalized their exchange regimes at a relatively early stage of their reform programs. By the end of 1999, two-thirds of the countries under review had removed restrictions on current international transactions and adopted the obligations under Article VIII of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement Appendix II, (Table A4).10
  • Reductions in exemptions. While liberalization programs have in general been accompanied by reductions in discretionary exemptions and a broadening of the revenue base, the overall record of progress in this respect has been mixed. Even as of end–1998. in addition to certain standard (but questionable) exemptions.11 most countries continued to grant exemptions under special investment acts and on government imports (Table 3.5). Some countries have also seen a reversal in this respect in recent years, including Mauritius, Tanzania, and Zambia.12 Furthermore, generous exemptions were granted in efforts to promote nontraditional exports through the establishment of special tax and other incentives for exporters, including through the creation of export processing zones (EPZs). The cost of these exemptions (and of complicated tariff regimes in general) is illustrated by a measure of the collection efficiency ratio. This compares the amount a country ought to collect theoretically (given its statutory tariffs) with what it actually collects. Table 3.6 shows that collection efficiency is very low in some ESA countries. Even in a well-developed country such as South Africa, the collection rate is barely 55 percent of the theoretical potential. Angola and Tanzania are extremely poor in collecting taxes. These numbers contrast with a country like Chile, whose high collection efficiency derives largely from its low and uniform tariff rate.

Box 3.1.Trade Liberalization in the Context of IMF-Supported Programs

During the 1990s, trade was liberalized in several ESA countries, including the fastest reformers (Mozambique, Uganda, and Zambia), under IMF and World Bank-supported programs.1 In the case of Mozambique and Uganda, IMF programs were in place during the entire period under review. In addition, in several countries trade liberalization was pursued in the context of the Cross-Border Initiative (CBI), established with the support of the IMF, the World Bank, the EU, and the African Development Bank. Countries that changed from a restrictive regime in the early 1990s to a moderately restrictive regime in 1998 in the context of IMF-supported programs included the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

Although Lesotho implemented programs supported by the IMF during the period 1990–97, as a member of SACU the country did not pursue an independent trade policy. Despite IMF-supported programs, Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe ultimately achieved little or no liberalization in their trade regimes during the 1990s. The other countries with (relatively) restrictive regimes (Angola, Eritrea, Mauritius, and Seychelles) did not have IMF-supported programs during the 1990s.

1 Programs lasted an average of 6.4 years and were, in six cases, nonconsecutive. With the exception of Lesotho (Stand-By, in addition to Structural Adjustment Facility (SAF)/Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF)), Zambia (Rhights Accumulation Program, in addition to ESAF), and Zimbabwe (Extended Fund Facility and Stand-By arrangements, in addition to ESAF), all ESA countries using IMF resources were supported by SAF/ESAF arrangements.

Figure 3.1Eastern and Southern Africa: Trade Liberalization and Economic Performance

Table 3.5Selected ESA Countries: Status of Tariff Exemptions, December 1998
GovernmentPublic EnterprisesInvestment Convention or CodeNGOsForeign-Financed ProjectsOther1
AngolaYesNoYesYesYesYes
BurundiYesYesYesYesYesYes
Congo, Dem. Rep. ofYesNoYesYesYesYes
ComorosYesNoYesYesYesYes
EthiopiaYesNoNoYesYesYes
KenyaNoNoYesYesYesYes
LesothoNoNoNoYesNoNo
MadagascarYesNoYesYesYesYes
MalawiNoNoNoYesYesYes
MauritiusNoNoYesYesYesYes
MozambiqueNoNoYesYesNoYes
NamibiaYesNoYesYesYesYes
RwandaYesYesYesYesYesYes
SeychellesYesYesYesYesYesYes
SwazilandNoNoNoYesNoNo
TanzaniaYesYesYesYesYesNo
UgandaNoNoNoNoNoNo
ZambiaNoNoYesYesYesYes
ZimbabweYesNoYesYesYesYes
Source: IMF, African Department.

Includes discretionary exemptions and waivers.

Source: IMF, African Department.

Includes discretionary exemptions and waivers.

Table 3.6International Comparison of Tariff Collection Efficiency, 19961(Percent)
CountryCollection Efficiency
Angola36.0
Malawi47.2
Mauritius56.1
South Africa54.7
Tanzania38.1
Zimbabwe53.1
New Zealand84.0
Chile76.0
Source: World Bank (1999).

Measured as the ratio of the duties collected on imports to the import-weighted tariff.

Source: World Bank (1999).

Measured as the ratio of the duties collected on imports to the import-weighted tariff.

Despite substantial progress made by several countries, there have been a number of episodes of policy reversals, aggravating the credibility problem embedded in trade reforms.13Table 3.1 shows that 8 out of 22 ESA countries reversed, if only partially, the trade reforms during the 1990s. However, there were only three episodes of reversals (Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia) among countries that undertook significant reform, and none of them was permanent.14

Multilateral Liberalization in Goods

In contrast to the progress made by many ESA countries in unilateral trade liberalization, they undertook very little, if any, incremental liberalization of their trade regimes under the Uruguay Round of multilateral negotiations concluded in 1994. Nor did they make substantial commitments to lock in the unilateral liberalization implemented during the 1990s by “binding” their tariffs in the WTO15(see Appendix II, Table A7).

In relation to industrial goods, most countries bound only a small number of tariffs, with the exception of SACU countries and Rwanda. Tariffs have been bound at very high levels, well above the actually applied rates. Thus, countries have reserved for themselves the right to reverse the trade liberalization, thereby forgoing the benefits from signaling that the reforms are irreversible. In the case of the SACU, the wedge between bound and applied tariffs is lower than the average for the region but still provides enough room for policy reversal for many products. The argument that ESA countries may not have anticipated the liberalization that they would undertake independently of the Uruguay Round and, hence, did not bind their tariffs at reasonable levels is difficult to sustain. This is because the wedge, even for early 1990s tariff levels, is very large (except for the SACU), provoking the question as to why these countries did not bind tariffs at or close to the then prevailing tariff levels. In relation to agricultural goods, all countries were required to bind tariffs and all other charges on imports. While ESA countries have complied with this requirement, they have nevertheless bound their tariffs and charges at extremely high levels, often in excess of 100 percent, diluting the value of the commitments made to their trading partners.

Liberalization in Services

It is increasingly recognized that trade in services represents the next frontier of liberalization. Between 1980 and 1998, the value of world trade in services increased by 252 percent, as against 164 percent for trade in goods. Furthermore, many of the technological advances witnessed in recent years have been related to the services sectors—transportation, telecommunications, and financial services are seen as crucial to improving competitiveness because they provide inputs to manufacturing and other export-oriented activities. In many traded goods, services account for more than half of input costs.

While liberalization of trade in goods depends on, and is measured as, openness to foreign competition, liberalization in services needs to take into account two additional factors—the domestic market structure and the nature of regulation. The efficiency benefits of liberalizing services sectors derive from the extent of competition, the extent of foreign direct investment, which brings in improved technology and managerial know-how, and the effectiveness of regulation. The latter is important, particularly where markets are imperfectly competitive and where monopoly incumbents’ control of access to essential facilities can deter entry by competitors (see Mattoo and others, 2000). In these cases, regulation can promote competition, enabling the efficiency benefits to be realized.

Little information is available on the extent to which the services sector is protected in ESA countries and the ensuing efficiency losses. One crude measure of how much liberalization has been undertaken by ESA countries is the number of sectors in which they made commitments in the WTO (see Appendix II, Table A8). South Africa and Lesotho were the two countries that undertook the most commitments, as measured by the number of sectors covered—9 and 10, respectively, out of a maximum of 12 sectors. They were followed by Burundi, Kenya, Mauritius, and Rwanda, which committed to liberalization in 5 sectors. Most commitments were in the area of tourism (16 countries), followed by business services (10 countries), financial services (8), and communications (7).

While the services sector comprises a wide range of activities, two sectors that are considered critical in creating a favorable climate for investment and facilitating growth are banking and telecommunications. There is substantial participation of foreign banks in ESA countries’ banking systems (the share of loans and deposits of foreign banks in the total amount of loans and deposits of the five largest banks averages 50 percent). In most countries, however, the structure of the banking system is excessively concentrated, as measured by the Herfindahl index of concentration16(Table 3.7). Furthermore, there is a need to improve the institutional and regulatory environment of most ESA countries, particularly with respect lo judicial loan recovery, enforcement of financial contracts, property transfers, and adoption of modern commercial legislation (Gelbard and Leite, 1999).

Table 3.7Eastern and Southern Africa: Banking Sector Structure and Liberalization, December 1997
Presence of Foreign

Banks in Five Largest Banks
CountryConcentration Index1NumberShare of loans and deposits
Angola0.29227
Botswana0.305100
Congo, Dem. Rep. of0.265100
Comoros1.005100
Eritrea0.7500
Ethiopia0.8100
Kenya0.23245
Lesotho0.4800
Madagascar0.24147
Malawi0.7614
Mauritius0.44320
Mozambique0.335100
Namibia0.275100
South Africa0.2500
Swaziland0.21488
Tanzania0.47327
Uganda0.59280
Zambia0.26351
Zimbabwe0.22357
Average0.43350
Source: Gelbard and Leite (1999).

Herfindahl index of concentration.

Source: Gelbard and Leite (1999).

Herfindahl index of concentration.

Table 3.8 contains data on liberalization commitments relating to the banking sector undertaken by all developing country members of the WTO. Of the 18 WTO members in the ESA region, only eight countries—Angola, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe—undertook any commitment, a lower share than in any region outside Africa (column 2). Columns 3–4 describe the nature of liberalization commitments undertaken by these countries, measured by an index computed by Mattoo (1999). The higher the value of the index, the less the liberalization undertaken in the WTO.17 The value of the index for ESA is substantially higher than the average for all countries. The eight countries in the ESA that did undertake commitments in the financial services sector bound them at a more restrictive level than all groupings outside Africa. Only African countries outside ESA were more restrictive than ESA countries.

Table 3.8International Comparison of Liberalization of the Banking Industry: Developing Country Members of the WTO
WTO

Members1
Members

Making

Commitments2
Liberalization

Index
Simple averageGDP-weighted
Africa41 (1.5)13 (80)0.680.57
Of which: Eastern and Southern Africa18 (0.7)8(88)0.650.62
Asia25(7.6)17(95)0.280.33
Europe7 (1.1)7(100)0.600.61
Latin America32(6.2)18(97)0.380.34
All105(16.4)55(95)0.370.37
Source: Mattoo (1999).

Numbers in brackets represent the fraction of GDP of all WTO members.

Numbers in brackets represent the fraction of GDP of members in that regional grouping.

Source: Mattoo (1999).

Numbers in brackets represent the fraction of GDP of all WTO members.

Numbers in brackets represent the fraction of GDP of members in that regional grouping.

Table 3.9 describes both the unilateral and multilateral liberalization efforts of ESA countries in the telecommunications sector. The left-hand panel of the table shows the WTO commitments undertaken by ESA countries in the telecommunications sector—only 5 of the 20 countries shown in the table have undertaken any commitments, and even these countries have essentially codified the existing policy framework with little new or incremental liberalization. The actual openness of the sector is summarized in the right-hand panel of the table. Of the 20 ESA countries shown, 16 countries have a monopoly supplier of telecommunications services in the three main market segments (local, local long distance, and international). These monopoly suppliers tend to be publicly owned, with foreign participation in only 3 countries—South Africa, Uganda, and Madagascar—and majority foreign ownership in only 1 country. It is now recognized that sound regulation ensuring a competitive market structure is an essential complement to foreign ownership in fostering an efficient sector. On this score too, ESA countries are lagging behind. Of the 20 ESA countries, very few have a statutorily independent regulator.

Table 3.9Eastern and Southern Africa: Telecommunications Liberalization
Commitments in the WTOFeatures of Sector
Commitments on cross-border supplyCommitments on inward foreign investmentAdherence to pro-competitive regulatory principlesDegree of market liberalizationForeign ownership (percent)Domestic ownershipComments
FullLimitedFullNo.of SuppliersLocalLocal long distanceInternational long distance
KenyaYesNo1YesMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly30Public
MauritiusYesNo1YesMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public
South AfricaYesNo1YesMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public
UgandaYesNo2YesDuopolyDuopolyDuopoly0–90Public/private
ZimbabweYesNoMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public50 percent foreign
ownership allowed
AngolaMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public
BotswanaMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public
BurundiMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public
Congo, Dem. Rep. ofPartialPartialPartial
competitioncompetitioncompetition0Public
EritreaMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public45 percent foreign
ownership allowed
EthiopiaMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public
LesothoMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public
MadagascarPartialPartialPartial66Public
competitioncompetitioncompetition
MilawMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public
MozambiqueMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public50 percent foreign
ownership allowed
NamibiaMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public49 percent foreign
ownership allowed
RwandaMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly1Public
SwazilandMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public
TanzaniaPartialPartialPartial0Public65 percent foreign
competitioncompetitioncompetitionownership allowed
ZambiaMonopolyMonopolyMonopoly0Public
Sources: Schedules submitted to the WTO; and ITU (1999).
Sources: Schedules submitted to the WTO; and ITU (1999).

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