Informal Trade And Dynamics Of African Trade In The Wake Of Covid-19 Key Features Of 2020 African Trade Report

  • The Afreximbank will launch its annual flagship report-the 2020 African Trade Report on 15th December
  • The 2020 Report focuses on Informal Cross-Border Trade ahead of the implementation of the AfCFTA
  • The report also looks at important trends-macroeconomic and trade and, reflects on the impact of COVID-19 on African trade
  • The Report Launch will feature an online event (presentation and panel discussion) with influential experts

The African Trade Report, produced annually by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), will be launched on 15th December.

This year’s report focuses on Informal Cross-Border Trade (ICBT) and provides ground-breaking insights into the scale, composition and approaches to informal cross-border trade in Africa. It is estimated that the formalisation of informal cross border trade could potentially increase official trade numbers by between 30-50%, depending on the region.

“ICBT has been a key contributor to job creation, income growth and household consumption, as well as to the development of competitive cross-border regional value chains” explained Professor Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, while emphasizing the importance of ICBT to the continent’s economies.

“With trading under the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) scheduled to begin on January 1st, 2021, it has never been more pressing to understand this key aspect of African trade” explained Dr. Hippolyte Fofack, Chief Economist at Afreximbank. The Report was done in collaboration with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). According to Dr. Hippolyte Fofack and Dr. David Luke, Head, African Trade Policy Centre at the ECA, this year’s report will help put in place the structures to better account for ICBT as well as help formalise these value chains.

The report covers a wide range of themes, all pertinent to harnessing the opportunity presented by the AfCFTA, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on exports, both international and intra-African, commodity prices and economic growth.

The launch will feature a presentation of the report as well as a panel discussion looking at general aspects of trade in Africa and mechanisms to substantially boost these numbers through policy and strategic action. The panellists include some international experts such as Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre, Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Kolawole Sofola, Director of Trade, ECOWAS and Gerald Masila, Executive Director, East Africa Grain Council and remarks by Professor Benedict Oramah.

The event is open to all and free to attend. Register here. Download a preview of the African Trade Report here .

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Afreximbank.

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