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Agriculture and WTO in Africa: Understand to Act

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) defines rules on public policies and the international trade in goods and services. An arena for decision that claims to be democratic, the WTO is an arena where countries with different socioeconomic and political weights and diverging interests confront each other. Today, however, African countries are struggling to participate fully in this organisation and they weigh little on the decisions reached, running the risk of having inadequate multilateral rules on public policy elaboration imposed upon them, and not having their concerns heard. They have many obstacles before them: in addition to their under-representation at WTO headquarters because of insufficient economic and human resources, there is the multitude of WTO bodies, and the complexity of WTO rules and procedures. The choices made at the WTO are of major importance for development, in particular in the field of agriculture, an essential socioeconomic sector in Africa. The purpose of this work is to provide elements to understand how the WTO institutions and agreements that impact the agricultural sector operate. Its vocation is to provide those in charge of civil society organisations in sub-Saharan Africa with tools and references to better weigh the stakes behind, and means for their participation in world trade. Organised around descriptive and factual texts, this work contains many definitions and is illustrated by concrete experiences that facilitate reading.