Rising commodity prices and increased exports of energy products to Europe allowed the continent to record a trade surplus of $18.1 billion in 2022.
According to a report published on June 14 by the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank), intra-African trade experienced growth of 18.6% in 2022, reaching $193.17 billion.
It was added that intra-regional trade represented 15% of the continent's total trade last year.
The report also highlights that there is significant untapped potential in this area in most subregions of the continent. In fact, Southern Africa remains the main driver of intra-African trade. This subregion represents 47.4% of all trade between the countries of the continent.
The low proportions of intra-regional trade in other subregions suggest important growth opportunities in the era of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The report also reveals that the total value of Africa's intra-regional and extra-regional trade increased by 20.9% in 2022, reaching $1,430.1 billion, despite a difficult global environment.
The continent's exports totaled $724.1 billion over the past year (an increase of 26.8% compared to 2021), while imports stood at $706 billion (an increase of 15.5%).
The strong increase in exports in a context of rising raw material prices and the increase in exports of energy products to Europe allowed Africa to have a trade surplus of 18.1 billion dollars in 2022, which represents a growth of 145% compared to 2021.
However, Afreximbank notes that African exports are characterized by a strong predominance of raw materials, while exports of manufactured products remain concentrated in a limited number of countries and sectors.