Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Intra-Africa trade profile – 2017


Intra-Africa trade profile – 2017

Although trade within the continent remains low and has not changed significantly over time, the 2016-2017 period saw an 8% increase in intra-Africa exports, with intra-Africa exports reaching 16% of Africa’s world exports in 2017. Meanwhile, 13% of Africa’s world imports were intra-Africa imports.

In terms of top exporters, 53% of intra-Africa exports in 2017 were products exported from South Africa (34%), Nigeria (7%), Egypt (5%), Ivory Coast (4%) and Morocco (3%). South Africa is also the main destination market (17% of intra-Africa exports were imported by South Africa), followed by Botswana (7%), Zambia (7%), Namibia (6%), Mozambique (5%) and Zimbabwe (4%).

By product category, Africa’s top intra-Africa goods exports in 2017 were machinery, followed by chemical products; food, beverages and tobacco; and transport equipment and mineral products.

Within the regional economic communities (RECs), the following can be noted:

  • 55% of COMESA’s exports to Africa are intra-COMESA exports

  • 65% of intra-Africa exports by CEN-SAD members are intra-REC exports

  • 54% of the EAC’s intra-Africa exports are intra-REC exports

  • 35% of exports from ECCAS countries are intra-ECCAS exports

  • 65% of exports from ECOWAS countries are intra-ECOWAS exports

  • 56% of intra-Africa exports by IGAD member states are intra-REC exports

  • 87% of exports from SADC countries are intra-SADC exports

Intra-Africa trade profile – 2017

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