British Arab Commercial Bank Analyses the Prospects for Intra-African Trade in New Whitepaper


London: Intra-African trade has the potential to deliver prosperity across the African continent, according to a whitepaper launched today by British Arab Commercial Bank (BACB). However, despite the continent’s impressive economic growth achieved in recent decades, trade flows between African nations have remained low and account for just under 17% of total trade volumes.

In the whitepaper, entitled Intra-African trade: a priority for Africa, the bank’s experts provide insights into why many African economies remain oriented towards exporting commodities and raw materials, and incline towards trading with Europe and Asia rather than with their immediate neighbours. The topic of intra-African trade is especially relevant in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), launched this year with the intention of creating the largest free trade area in the world by number of countries.

“Intra-African trade is a phenomenon with immense promise, and it will only continue to become more relevant in coming years,” comments Eddie Norton, BACB’s CEO. “Africa’s wealth of natural and human resources truly make it a continent of opportunity. This whitepaper not only demonstrates our expertise, built over decades of serving specialist markets, but also our enduring commitment towards the continent.”

“BACB is uniquely positioned to support the intra-Africa trade agenda,” adds Mike Rolfe, Head of Trade Finance. “As a bank dedicated to trade finance, headquartered in London but with representative offices in Algiers, Tripoli and Abidjan, we can combine our on-the-ground expertise and extensive regional network to promote trade within the continent in a way that few other institutions can.”

In the whitepaper, BACB also takes an in-depth look at trade flows in a series of country-focus pieces – examining the current state of intra-African trade integration in Libya, Algeria, Nigeria, Sudan, Mauritania and Cote d’Ivoire – and evaluating the prospects for the future. While significant obstacles to intra-African trade remain, the pandemic has given new momentum to the movement as African economies seek to become more self-reliant and resilient to external economic shocks.

Most recent episodes

Audio TMI - ESG: Time to Decide

The pressure to comply with ESG initiatives is being felt by corporates like never before, with ESG-compliance a common concern among treasury departments. TMI talks to Lavinia Bauerochse (Deutsche Bank) about treasury’s ...


Embedded Finance: A 101 Guide for Treasurers

Our latest TreasuryCast guest, Aman Narain (HSBC) sits down with TMI's Eleanor Hill to consider the ways in which treasury might be impacted by embedded finance. In this podcast, Aman explains the differences between embedded finance and BaaS, shares his hopes for the future in this space, and provides...


Audio TMI - A Modern, Agile, and Efficient Machine

UniCredit's Raphael Barisaac and Massimo Ortino explain how the fir...

What’s on the Horizon for Short-term Investments?

The treasury community has risen to the ongoing challenge of rising interest rates and inflation, with corporate cash serving as the sought-after safety net. Here, Daniel Farrell (Northern Trust Asset Management) and Karl Adams (ICD) consider how the latest MMF reform proposals affect short-term...


Transitioning a Corporate from LIBOR to CME Term SOFR

The loans market has predominantly moved to forward looking term rates, and both corporate borrowers and global lenders are increasingly turning to CME Term SOFR as the forward looking risk-free benchmarks to support their activities. Listen to this podcast, featuring Gavin Lee, Marco Bianchi (CME...


HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight – View from Sibos

TMI's Eleanor Hill invites Neil Atkinson, Nadine Lagarmitte, and Vinay Mendonca (HSBC) to discuss the critical treasury topics and conversations highlighted at this year's Sibos conference in Amsterdam. Amongst a wealth of market insights, our guests consider the most critical developments emerging from...


ECB’s Targeted TLTRO Tweaks Set to Drain Excess Market Liquidity

Welcome to the latest edition of Liquidity Link Live, your exclusive market analysis provided by Northern Trust Asset Management, one of the world’s largest cash managers. Tune in each month to discover the very latest insights on the UK, Eurozone and US markets. This edition was recorded on the 7th...


Asian Treasury Trends: Learnings and Opportunities

Former corporate treasury professional, Valerie Heng (Deloitte) joins Eleanor Hill to discuss the hot topic of treasury transformation, alongside other key shifts treasurers should be aware of. In this podcast, Valerie uses her knowledge of the Asian Treasury market to explain how the role of the...


Collaborative Trade Finance: How to Unlock Liquidity at Speed

Imagine if trade finance applications were fully collaborative and corporates could communicate with every trade participant via an open digital hub.  In this podcast, Vincent Almering (Interfood Holding B.V.) and Enno-Burghard Weitzel (Surecomp) explain to TMI's Ben Poole how collaborative trade...