Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor 2018
This report by Regional Statistic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKKS), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA) and the African Growth and Development Policy Modeling Consortium (AGRODEP), presents an examination of the recent trends, current status, and future outlook of African agricultural trade in global and regional markets. Although African exports have grown over time, imports have increased more rapidly betwen 1998-2013. Africa’s agricultural exports appear to have become moderately more diversified. Efforts to pursue increased economic integration led to significant increases in intra-regional trade. Intra-African trade expanded significantly during 1998-2013. In most regional economic communities (REcs), countries increased or maintained their competitiveness in global and regional markets. However, potential exists to expand exports by leveraging gains in competiteveness. Supply-side constraints in agricltural exports affect trade perfomarnce to a greater extent than do demand-side constraints. This suggests a focus on removing domestic constraints to increased trade. Emerging issues, like climate shock and increasing nontariff barriers to trade present threats to trade performance. The analyses presented in this report demonstrate undeniable improvements in Africa’s trade performance since the late 1990s. Nevertheless, progress has been uneven, with some regions and countries consistently underperforming others. Challenges remain in further enhancing Africa’s competitiveness in global markets and in increasing intra-regional trade, which remains below its potential despite significant recent improvements. The report suggest a series of recommendations for policymakers, including (1) efforts at country and regional levels to increase agricultural productivity along the value chain, improve market access, and improve the functioning of institutions; (2) regional actions to enhance economic integration and harmonize standards and procedures; and (3) Africa-wide efforts to promote trade facilitation in international negotiations. Policy actions such as these can influence the trends described in this report and accelerate improvements in Africa’s trade performance, thereby increasing incomes and improving food security across the continent.