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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Hidden Economy: Informal and Parallel Trade in Northwestern Uganda
Author:Meagher, KateISNI
Year:1990
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Volume:17
Issue:47
Period:Spring
Pages:64-83
Language:English
Geographic term:Uganda
Subjects:illicit trade
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Economics and Trade
economics
Labor and Employment
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03056249008703848
Abstract:Informal and parallel trade in Uganda's Arua District has a long history back through colonialism. Its roots do not lie in the distortions of postcolonial State intervention, as the current conventional view would have it, but in the activities of the colonial State in imposing borders and divergent currencies and in implementing trading networks. More recently and as part of adjustment programmes, attempts to shift incomes from traders to farmers, by raising producer prices and taxing traders' incomes, have resulted in traders shifting to parallel markets over the border in Zaire. One such market in Ariwara is analysed and shown to involve trade in visible manufactured goods and foodstuffs and more crucially in gold, US dollars and coffee. Conventional views that parallel trade is limited to export crops, and that such crossborder smuggling is on barter terms, are shown to be greatly mistaken, given the existence of a multiproduct market lubricated by a sophisticated multicurrency and gold market. In conditions of shortage, where alternative supply channels exist, policies of 'structural adjustment' which fail to take the basis of these parallel markets into account, will not succeed. Bibliogr.
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