Antoine Bouët, Sunday Pierre Odjo, and Chahir Zaki
Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor
Agricultural trade and global food security have been dramatically affected by a series of unusual events. While the global economy is recovering in 2022 from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has aggravated challenging problems.The combination of these shocks affects agricultural trade and food security throughout Africa, especially in countries that are highly dependent on food imports. From this perspective, the 2022 Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor (AATM) analyzes regional and continental trade in agriculture and selected value chains with a focus on: the nutritional content of African trade, the potentially transformative impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on the region’s economies, and the evolution of intra- and extra-regional trade flows and trade policy of the Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS).
The report highlights three main findings. First, the insertion of African countries in global and regional value chains is low but has recently improved. Indeed, both forward participation in value chains (that is, provision of inputs to other countries’ processing sectors) and backward participation (incorporation of imported intermediates into African traded products) have increased, although forward links have grown faster than backward links. Second, intra-African trade increased significantly prior to the pandemic in most RECs, especially in processed products. Yet, this trend was halted by the COVID-19 shock, especially in ECCAS and the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU). Third, in terms of nutritional content, extra-African trade is concentrated in high-value products with a low caloric content. In comparison, intra-African flows are more intensive in calories, fat, and protein. Even though in 2022, the volatility of world agricultural prices remains high, the strengthening of trade links between African countries, thanks to the establishment of the AfCFTA, may make it possible to decrease the risk of food insecurity in the long term through diversification of supply sources and increased ease of access for all farmers to a larger market.
AKADEMIYA2063 and International Food Policy Research Institute