THE ROLE OF SPECIALIZATION IN ENHANCING ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS: AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
This paper contributes to the literature on the role of specialization in economic competitiveness. To this end, it evaluates the effects of specialization on the competitiveness of the economy of 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over the period from 2007 to 2018 using the system generalized method of moments (GMM) and the random effects method. It is found that specialization in manufactured goods, oil products and high technology has a positive effect on economic competitiveness, while specialization in agricultural raw materials and commodities has a negative effect. Also, the structure of specialization similarly affects the economic competitiveness of Central Africa, East Africa and West Africa, but varies slightly with those of SSA member countries belonging to South Africa. In addition to producing and exporting goods in which they have a comparative advantage, SSA countries need to strengthen bilateral cooperation to improve their value chains and benefit from competitiveness gains.
specialization, economic competitiveness, effects, Sub-Saharan African