Promoting Connectivity in Africa
The potential for trade to act as a channel for development has been well-recognized, and is reflected in the incorporation of trade in many of the 17 Goals enshrined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For African countries, intraregional trade can act as a key channel for enhancing the transformative power of trade. While the share of intra-African trade to the total trade of African countries is currently low relative to other regions, the composition of that trade is more diversified than Africa’s trade with the rest of the world. Around two-thirds of intra-African trade is in manufactured goods. The dynamic nature of intraregional trade in intermediate goods, in particular, points to opportunities in the development of regional value chains in industrial goods. This could be a significant source for employment and improved livelihoods. Intra-African trade, in some regions, is already growing fast. In other regions, the potential of intra-African trade remains unlocked. More and better “Aid for Trade” is needed to support the continent’s own trade agenda.