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Informal trade and dynamics of African trade in the wake of Covid-19 key features of 2020 African Trade Report

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Informal trade and dynamics of African trade in the wake of Covid-19 key features of 2020 African Trade Report

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.

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“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.

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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.

About Afreximbank

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank was established in October 1993 and owned by African governments, the African Development Bank and other African multilateral financial institutions as well as African and non-African public and private investors. The Bank was established under two constitutive documents, an Agreement signed by member states, which confers on the Bank the status of an international organization, and a Charter signed by all Shareholders, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that are supporting the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby sustaining economic expansion in Africa. At the end of September 2020, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at USD$20.28 billion and its shareholders funds amounted to US$3.13 billion. Voted “African Bank of the Year” in 2019, the Bank disbursed more than US$38billion between 2016 and 2020. Afreximbank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

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