By examining the driving forces behind increased agricultural trade, at global and regional levels, the Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor 2018 provides insight into the transformation of African economies. The success of intra-regional trade and improved global exports are studied against the backdrop of increasing African imports.
The report provides a clear narrative about trade developments that occurred primarily between 1998 and 2013, with particular attention paid to how and why Africa’s trade balance became negative in the early 2000s. The primary reasons – a growing urban population and constraints to trade – are explored in the report.
This joint publication from CTA and the International Food Policy Research Institute is the second annual report of its kind (see Spore review of the African Agricultural Trade Status Report 2017, https://tinyurl.com/y7jke6av). Emphasis in this latest report is placed upon increased intra-regional trade of agricultural commodities and the benefits that this is having in Africa’s regional economic areas. For example, a chapter on West Africa examines the potential for intra-regional trade to increase the region’s market resilience.
Key findings and policy implications, such as the need for African governments to further invest in infrastructure, are also detailed in this report, which substantiates its claims with figures and graphs. This makes the publication an essential guide to the diversification and the competitiveness of trade across the continent.