Intra-African trade: An underexploited potential

9 April 2024


Between the current state of trade and the still untapped opportunities, where does Africa's economic potential lie? Discover our infographics.
$193.17 billion: This is the total volume of trade exchanges between the 55 African countries in 2022. Although it has increased compared to previous years, the volume of intra-African trade remains below its full potential, with $21.9 billion of unexploited potential, estimated by UNCTAD, equivalent to 43% of intra-African exports. The European Union (EU) positions itself as the continent's leading trade partner ahead of China, with the value of trade increasing in 2021 to reach 288 billion euros. While African countries primarily export raw materials or minimally processed goods, conversely, imports consist of high-value-added finished products, consumer goods, and equipment, indicating the continent's dependence on the import of manufactured products. In response to this reality, initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) have been implemented to encourage trade exchanges within the continent. These efforts are crucial for unleashing Africa's economic potential. Is the continent making effective progress towards greater economic autonomy? Discover our analysis: