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ECA study reveals potential correlation between trade and peace

22 October, 2022
ECA study reveals potential correlation between trade and peace

Tangier, 22 October 2022 (ECA) – A new study by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has made it clearer how trade impacts peace and propels countries towards sustainable development, arguing that trade integration in Africa could also promote humanitarian and security imperatives.

The study, “Realizing the Triple Nexus and Trade: Towards A New Agenda For Africa,” which was presented to a panel of experts in Tangier, Morocco, states that a triple nexus approach involving the promotion of humanitarian, development and peace in Africa is more attainable when accompanied with increased trade amongst African countries.

ECA’s Africa Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) commissioned the study which was launched on 22 October in Tangier, Morocco ahead of the African Union Policy Conference on Promoting the Peace, Security, and Development Nexus convened by the African Union Commission jointly with ECA and other partners, which will be held from 25 to 27 October 2022 in Tangier, Morocco.

Senior Advisor in the Regional Integration and Trade Division (RITD) of ECA, Mr. Adeyinka Adeyemi, kicked off the meeting stating that the study originated on the premises that trade would foster peace and prosperity, and that stable global relations would in turn facilitate trade flows.

“As an important step to further confirm the strong link between trade and peace, the Africa Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) conducted the Triple Nexus and Trade Study, whose findings we are presenting and discussing with key stakeholders,” Mr. Adeyemi said.

Mr. Adeyemi also underscored that while he expects the upcoming African Union Policy Conference to fully endorse the study findings for policy action, he anticipates that it will also inform the discussions and deliberations of the AU Policy Conference.

The Policy Dialogue also featured a keynote address from ECA’s Director of Strategic Planning, Oversight and Results Division (SPORD), Mr. Said Adejumobi who stated that peace is not necessarily the absence of conflict.

“Hence, countries need to manage conflicts to foster economic development and growth,” Mr. Adejumobi said, noting that countries that trade together generally do not go to war.

He highlighted the role of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as an ingredient for establishing peace and security in the continent, so too is peace needed to boost trade.

Presenting the findings of the study, Ms. Angela Strachan, Consultant in Business Environment, Trade Facilitation and Investment Climate, indicated that the main objective of the study was to explore the contribution of trade in the transitions from fragile, unstable and emergency contexts to sustainable development within the framework of the triple humanitarian-development-peace nexus.

“The study takes an alternate approach by using the displacement of people as a proxy for the Triple Nexus, given that mass human displacement often results from a mixture of conflict, fragility and vulnerability, which generate humanitarian emergencies that necessitate Triple Nexus interventions,” Ms. Strachan noted.

“The findings revealed that conflicts in Africa are taking place across a range of overall integration levels, and fragility levels have gotten worse over the past fourteen years for which data is available,” she added.

According to Ms. Strachan the study makes several recommendations on how trade reforms can best support the Triple Nexus in Africa, particularly in the context of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). These include the establishment of an institutional monitoring mechanism for individual African state participation in extra-regional negotiations; establishing well-designed trade and investment rules; considering a concurrent reversal of radicalization of people and groups and monitoring mechanisms for progress; and developing a programme of targeted support to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to reduce overall vulnerability and exposure to conflicts and disasters in trade liberalisation context.

Prof. Taye Simbine, Director General at the Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER), Dr. Therese Azeng, Lecturer at the University of Yaoundé and Prof. Babafemi Badejo, Director General of the Chrisland Institute for Security, Development and Diplomacy (CLISDD) gave their insights in an interactive panel discussion moderated by Mr. Bunmi Makinwa, CEO, AUNIQUEI Communication for Leadership.

tour de table to reflect on the findings of the study was also held to give an opportunity for participants to provide their comments and enrich the study parameters further.

The Policy Dialogue, organized by the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) of ECA, saw the attendance of about 15 representatives from African academic and research institutions, United Nations agencies, financial institutions, African academic and research institutions and non-governmental organizations.

For more information Contact

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: or


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