In three years’ time, intra-African trade has increased by 50 per cent to €54 billion, says the African Development Bank. The rise – between 2010 and 2013 – is the result of improved market access within Africa’s economic blocks.
The East African reports that trade flows within the East African Community have grown by an average of less than 15 per cent per annum since 2005.
Before, intra-African trade was slow because of poor infrastructure (roads and highways) crossing national borders; non-tariff barriers and insecurity are blamed for the weak growth posted by intra-African trade in the past.
Economists say that increased access to trade routes within economic blocs on the continent account for the sharp growth in intra-African trade. Egypt has done particularly well in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa); at the same time South Africa is a major exporter of building materials, wines and spirits, electronics and motor vehicle spare parts in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) bloc.
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