Africa faces increasing threats at several levels, from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis, to conflict on the continent and climatic shocks. With the continent heavily dependent on agriculture, climate change will affect agricultural production, export potential, economic growth, and household welfare. At the same time, African trade agreements still have a long way to go in including enforceable environmental provisions in their regional trade agreements, especially in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
From this perspective, the 2023 Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor (AATM) provides high-quality trade statistics using consistent indicators to monitor trends in Africa’s participation in global trade as well as the status of intra-African trade. For this 6th Edition, the research focuses on the impact of regional trade agreements on agricultural trade; the nutritional content of intra-African trade; the competitiveness of the cotton value chain; the impact of the Russia-Ukraine War on agriculture, trade, poverty, and food systems; and, trade integration in the East African Community.
The report finds that the trade share of processed agricultural products is signiﬁcant and growing, reaching 46.3 percent of intra-African agricultural trade in the 2019–2021 period. However, Africa’s regional trade agreements do not have sufﬁcient impact on its trade in agriculture. This may reﬂect the overall relative shallowness of most African trade agreements both at the continental and the global level. Findings suggest that deeper trade agreements would stimulate increased trade, as vertical depth (transparency and enforceability) is paramount. Finally, African countries must take concerted actions at the national, regional, and continental levels (especially through the AfCFTA) to make trade flows sustainable in the face of global market disruptions and geopolitical shocks, and trade policies more environment-friendly to reduce the negative impacts of trade on climate and the environment.