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In July, Nigeria was one of the last countries to sign on to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. By August, Nigeria had closed its land borders, sparking heated debate about the purpose of the move and the implications for regional integration.

I recently invited two experts with differing perspectives on the issue to dig into the debate with me on the CGD podcast. Amaka Anku, director and practice head of the Africa team at Eurasia Group, argues that the border closure was necessary to enforce rules-based trade. Nonso Obikili, economist and policy associate at Economic Research Southern Africa, argues that Nigeria is reverting to old habits to avoid having to coordinate trade policies with the rest of West Africa.

Check out the podcast to hear more about the history between Nigeria and Benin, the costs of the border closure for people living in poverty, and possible next steps for the Nigerian government.

W. Gyude Moore is a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.