African Regional Trade Agreements

The poor performance of trade facilitation indicators also hampers the development of the region`s trade and economy. For example, many African countries perform poorly in e-commerce, linear shipping connectivity, and trade indicators. Africa has a large domestic market that offers considerable opportunities. At present, Africa accounts for 2.9% of world production and 2.6% of world trade, while 16.3% of the world`s population lives on the continent. Michele Ruta, lead author, is Chief Economist of the Trade and Regional Integration Department (ETIRI) at the World Bank. His research interests lie in international economics, particularly on issues of international/regional integration. Intra-African trade has risen to 15.4% in recent years. Nevertheless, Asia and Europe remain the continent`s main trading partners. The high dependence on trade in primary goods, the high concentration of exports on products and the market and the weakness of regional production networks are among the main challenges facing African countries. It is estimated that African CIs trade on average 40% less than potential trade (i.e. trade in a smooth world) (de Melo and Tsikata 2013). In addition, in the implementation of an ATR only for the East African Community (EAC), the ratio of actual to potential trade, which can be considered a proxy for trade costs, increased from 0.63 to 0.53 seven years after the signing of the ATR. Yulia Vnukova advises in the Trade and Regional Integration Division (ETIRI) of the World Bank.

Based on more than ten years of experience, Yulia`s current work focuses on trade policy and regional integration, with a focus on macroeconomic and microeconomic analysis of trade, trade and sectoral competitiveness, global value chains and private sector development in emerging countries in Europe, in Asia and Africa. The first part gives an overview of Africa in the global economy and intra-African trade. The Continental Free Trade Area Framework Agreement (CFTA), signed in 2018 by 44 African countries, has ambitious long-term goals to deepen integration among African Union member states and build a prosperous and united Africa. . . .