Determinants of Fish Trade Flows in Africa

  •  Bonface Nankwenya    
  •  Alexander Phiri    
  •  Abdi Khalil Edriss    
  •  Emmanuel Kaunda    
  •  Horace Phiri    
  •  Sloans Chimatiro    


Given that fish and fishery products are ranked among the most traded food commodities globally, with developing countries accounting for the bulk of the world’s fish exports, the analysis of fish trade flows is of key importance for any policy measure in the fisheries sector. This study evaluates the determinants of fish trade flows by applying the generalized gravity model. Using panel data covering a period of 14 years for 54 African countries, the gravity model is estimated using the Tobit regression to overcome estimation challenges in the presence of zero trade observations. The results suggest that a 1% increase in exporters’ GDP, importers’ GDP, population, exporters’ fish production, and countries sharing a common border increased fish trade flows by 8%, 14 %, 4%, 36% and 60%, respectively. On the other hand, importers’ fish production, and distance reduced fish trade flows by 5% and 17%, respectively. The results further shows that the belonging to ECOWAS, EAC, SADC and AMU has significantly enhanced intra-fish trade flows thereby contributing to gross trade creation for fish. The results indicate that the current demand for fish is very high such that current production is unable to meet the consumption needs. This calls for consolidated efforts in investment and development of the aquaculture sector as an alternative to the dwindling fish supplies from the wild environment. The findings also demonstrate the need for regional blocs to improve the transport networks on the continent by, among others, adopting a regional cooperation strategy centered on infrastructure development.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • Issn(Print): 1913-9063
  • Issn(Onlne): 1913-9071
  • Started: 2008
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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