Governments could previously regulate foreign goods coming into their local
market through using subsidies or quotas. In some African countries and with
the Nepadisation agenda in place, import levies were and in some cases are still
substantial sources of government income. The international community now
appears to broadly agree that free trade is a better way to encourage stronger
economies. Opening national markets is a strategic imperative with important roles
for both the national government and the domestic public and private sector.