Journal of
Public Administration and Policy Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Adm. Policy Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2480
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPAPR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 151

Full Length Research Paper

Aid-for-trade (AfT) and global justice: The European Union (EU) in Africa

Megan Govender
  • Megan Govender
  • Development Bank of Southern Africa, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar
Pundy Pillay
  • Pundy Pillay
  • School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 01 June 2020
  •  Accepted: 28 November 2022
  •  Published: 31 March 2023


There is no doubt that Aid-for-Trade (AfT) has enhanced trade between Africa and the EU. However, although Africa has benefited, the gains to the EU appear to be much higher. Moreover, the benefits of AfT until now have also accrued disproportionately to more developed African countries. This paper critically assesses the effects of EU-AfT provision to bolster trade-related support in Africa. Second, it examines whether AfT assists African countries to realise their development imperatives (such as, economic growth, poverty eradication, and human development). Finally, it assesses if AfT contributes to ‘global justice’ in Africa. Specifically, EU’s AfT policy for global justice in Africa is examined within the framework of Eriksen’s (2016) three concepts of political justice, namely justice as non-domination, as impartiality, or as mutual recognition. This study concludes that the AfT policy has contributed to ‘justice as mutual recognition’ because all African states have been positively affected to a greater or lesser extent, in spite of more developed countries benefiting somewhat disproportionately. A number of policy suggestions are presented to enable poorer African countries to fully reap the benefits of trade with the EU, thus ensuring greater political justice.


Key words: Trade facilitation, Infrastructure development, Productive capacity, non-tariff barriers, Industrialisation, Development.