The African Union Commission is pleased to release this Yearbook on the Status of Intra-African Trade as a contribution to the discussions on the theme of the up-coming Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union: ‘‘Boosting Intra- African Trade’’.
Intra-African trade dates as far back as many centuries ago. Although, it has grown in terms of goods and services exchanged and witnessed improved delivery systems, it still represents less than 15 percent of annual total African trade, putting a large question mark on the potential benefits derived from improved market integration.
Another important element of Intra-African trade is the existence of informal cross-border trade between countries. The figures/statistics reported for the share of Intra-African trade in total African trade do not take into account the contribution of informal cross-border exchanges.
As trade is at the epicenter of the philosophy behind economic integration, in the discussion on how to boost Intra-African Trade, policymakers and statisticians should look at how to properly capture unregistered trade (informal) and come up with harmonized estimation methods to produce mirror statistics, comparable among countries in order to improve data on Intra-African trade.
This document presents data on Intra-African trade over the past 10 years. The data used in this Yearbook essentially come from National Statistics Offices of African Countries and World Trade Organization.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all Member States who have been kind enough to provide us with their external trade data and call upon all countries to send us trade data on a yearly basis so that we can produce and update the Yearbook.