Intra-Africa trade to top USD34bn by 2022
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area will result in intra-African trade topping USD34 billion by 2022.
The ECA says this would translate into real income gains of more than USD290 million.
The forecast was part of a report released on the sidelines of the African Union Summit of Heads of State.
The report was published jointly by the ECA, the African Union Commission and the African development Bank (AfDB).
Steven Karingi, Director of Regional Integration and Trade at the ECA, said regional integration had become a formidable instrument for sustaining current economic growth across Africa.
However, the report highlights a number of challenges in the way of trade integration; including poor trade-related infrastructure, burdensome customs and legal procedures and a lack of diverse production structures across most countries.
It said countries would have to look beyond short term losses in tariff revenue and commit huge financial resources to eliminating trade facilitation bottlenecks.