I wrote this book as an attempt to think politically about the cross-border movement of money and financial flows in developing and emerging economies, in Africa and elsewhere. Much of the economics literature, whether mainstream or more critical, and whether scholarly or policy-oriented, tends to conceive of this topic as a technical question. If only emerging markets attracted the right amount of financial capital (neither too little nor too much) with the right quality-mix (a healthy balance between long-term and short-term flows), then financial crises, speculative bubbles, overborrowing, and other negative effects could be avoided, and global finance could be harnessed for development purposes. From this perspective, then, what is at stake for emerging markets is to implement the right policies, regulations, and institutions.
Informal Cross-Border Trade
This low level of priority accorded to the social impact of the AfCTA contradicts the core values and aspirations of the African Union (AU). Most notably Article 3 (g) and 4 (c), (I), (m), and (n) of the AU Constitutive Act which all envisage an African Union that is democratic, inclusive, open to the participation of stakeholders, and sensitive to social concerns in the pursuit of economic development. However, going by what transpired prior to Kigali, it appears that priority was not accorded to these concerns mentioned above. More importantly, the recent hiccups experienced at the Kigali Summit are evidence that dialoguing with a broad range of stakeholders about the impact of trade on social structures is vital to the attainment of legitimate and effective economic agreements in Africa.