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Africa Economic Brief - Impediments to Regional Trade Integration in Africa


• Intra-African trade remains very low. Lack of product diversification, low trade complementarity among African countries and high trade costs perpetuate this situation. • Poor transport and communications infrastructure and unreliable power are key constraints to Africa’s ability to trade with itself and with the rest of the world.

• A lack of trade facilitation instruments, including trade finance, and complex customs arrangements further impede intra-regional and international trade.

• Investment in transport infrastructure promises to deliver the highest returns measured in terms of intra-African trade growth. • There is need to ensure full implementation of RTAs and harmonization of trade-related policies and regulations at the regional level.

• Aid for Trade should be scaled up to close the infrastructure gap, provide trade finance and support trade facilitation efforts.

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