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This paper deals with the role of regional trade in fostering the resilience of domestic food markets. Using country production and trade data from FAOSTAT database, a series of simple indicators are calculated that shed light on the potential for domestic markets stabilization through trade among African countries within Regional Economic Communities, including the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). A regional, economy-wide multimarket model is then used to simulate changes in current productivity levels and trade costs. The findings reveal that it is possible to significantly boost the pace of regional trade expansion and thus its contribution to creating more resilient domestic food markets through modest reduction in the overall cost of trading, a similarly modest increase in crop yields, or the removal of barriers to trans-border trade.

Published as: ZEF Discussion Papers on Development Policy No. 200.