Road Map towards the Malabo Declaration: A Case for Open Borders


December 3, 2014 - Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Institute - ReNAPRI

Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Institute (ReNAPRI). 2014. Road Map towards the Malabo Declaration: A Case for Open Borders. Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Brief 5. East Lansing: Michigan State University


  • Africa (SSA) is projected to increase between now and 2023. However, the region’s ability to meet this growing demand is limited resulting in an increased reliance on food imports from outside of Africa. The elimination of ad hoc export bans can mitigate the constraints on regional food supply.
  • The benefit to consumers of an ad hoc export ban is short-term. A 200,000 MT fall in Zambian maize exports in 2015 will reduce maize prices by 27% below the projected baseline in the given marketing year. However by 2016 prices would only decrease by 1% relative to the baseline projections.
  • The effects of an export ban can last beyond the year of the restriction. The reduced maize prices and increased food stock in 2015 would discourage Zambian farmers from producing, thereby reducing maize output by 2% below the baseline projections in 2016.
  • Regional maize shortages due to Zambia’s export ban will drive up prices in the surrounding countries. The change in the relative prices provides incentives for unsanctioned trade.
  • Discretionary Trade Policies do not create sustainable food security and economic growth. Instead ad hoc trade bans destabilize domestic prices and discourage private sector trade.
  • African policymakers should consider transitioning to a more systematic rules-based policy framework. Such a framework provides credible policy commitments that promote market predictability thereby stimulating private sector investments, consistent food supplies and greater price stability.


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