The African Trade Observatory
A trade information portal that will address hindrances to trade in Africa due to lack of information about opportunities, trade statistics as well as information about exporters and importers in countries.
The lack of up-to-date and reliable trade data and statistics is one of the contributing factors to the low level of official intra-African trade.
Instances abound of goods and services, which could have been sourced from other African countries being imported by African countries.
According to ITC (2018), more than 40 per cent of African companies identify lack of access to information and absence of inquiry points as factors affecting the business environment across the continent.
Whereas, a number of African countries and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have established trade information portals and systems several challenges remain such as: outdated information; uniformity of data; absence of data and information on non-tariff measures and informal trade and limited collaboration between various government agencies as well as countries and RECs.
The trade observatory will act as a central repository providing exhaustive qualitative and quantitative trade data and information at the continental level to enable policymakers and the private sector to make evidenced-based policies and business decisions.