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African countries are often exhorted to trade more between themselves, with official statistics indicating disappointingly little economic activity between them.
Yet the statistics massively under-capture the complex realities of African cross-border trade.
This dissertation offers a new methodology for assessing un-recorded African cross-border trade, and applies it on the border crossing between Cyangugu, Rwanda and Bukavu, DRC.
The dissertation provides estimates for trade values and volumes in a range of goods and services, demonstrating that trade on this border is vibrant and mostly unrecorded.
There is also a historical summary of trade across the Cyangugu-Bukavu border to provide context.
The conclusion argues that intra-African trade is far more substantial then official statistics indicate, and that alternative methodologies, such as the one implemented for this study, are needed to evaluate and understand its workings.
Gregory Mthembu-Salter is an author on African political economy, and has also served as a member of the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
He has a particular research interest in finding ways to evaluate and understand Africa's real economy, which includes unrecorded trade.
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