Lack of information on intra-African markets has been identified as a bigger challenge to intra-African trade and not poor infrastructure to support such trades within the continent, says Amir Kamel,an executive vice president at Afrexim Bank’s.
Intra-Africa trade accounts for only 15 percent of the continent’s US$1 trillion total global trade annually.
Speaking on the sideline of the Afreximbank’s 18th Annual Structured Trade and Finance seminar and workshop in Casablanca, Morocco on Thursday Kamel noted that although Africa has infrastructure challenges militating against trade, the present infrastructure can raise the value of intra-African trade once the relevant information is available.
“Africa’s total global trade annually is US$1 trillion while intra-African trade accounts for only 15 percent of the amount. The US$150 billion annual intra-African trade could be reviewed upwards with the right policies,” Kamel noted.
“I am confident that more countries will come on board and sign the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
“The train has left the station. It is either you join or be left behind.”
Gwen Mwaba, Afreximbank’s director and Global Head Trade Finance, who also spoke at the event, urged collaboration of trade finance institutions to enable the bank achieve its mandate of promoting trade.
“Sustainable growth in intra/extra African trade and export development can be better achieved by viable partnerships between African trade focused institutions,” she said.