The Brussels Development Briefing n.47 on the subject of “Regional Trade in Africa: Drivers, Trends and Opportunities” took place on 3rd February 2017 in Brussels at the ACP Secretariat (Avenue Georges Henri 451, 1200 Brussels) from 09:00 to 13:00.  This Briefing was organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with IFPRI, the European Commission / DEVCO, the ACP Secretariat, and CONCORD .

Webstream: Click here to watch the event live
View the coverage on Twitter: @BruBriefings and using hashtag #BB47

Trade and regional integration have dominated the political agenda in recent years, with scores of countries pursuing trade agreements under various configurations. There is a renewed focus on the role of the private sector, and on reducing and eliminating trade barriers in order to boost economic growth by encouraging more trade and investment. The nexus between trade, integration and development is recognised to hold immense potential for sustainable growth and poverty reduction, and provides opportunities for enhancing the welfare of producers and consumers, provided that governments are able to develop and enforce policies to this effect. Under the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the role of trade in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is recognised in a number of areas. Target 2.b of SDG2 calls for the correction and prevention of trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, whereas targets 17.10 to 17.12 of SDG 17 also highlights the importance of trade, particularly for the least developed countries.

In order to maximise the benefits of regional integration and look for new opportunities for competitiveness, policymakers, the private sector and development partners need access to accurate and comprehensive data on intra and inter-regional trade in Africa with respect to agricultural goods. It is in this context that CTA and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) are launching the “African Agricultural Trade Status Report”, which examines the current status, trends and outlook in African trade performance, making an important contribution towards data and analysis of developments both at regional and at continental levels. The Report, which is released in conjunction with the Briefing, builds on the work by the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) of CAADP and the African Growth and Development Policy Modeling Consortium (AGRODEP) trade and also reflects the CTA’s commitment to advancing knowledge and sharing of best practices relating to agricultural trade.

African Agricultural Trade Status Report 2017 
– Executive Summary
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Africa global trade patterns
Chapter 3. Regional trade patterns
Chapter 4. Competitiveness of African agricultural exports
Chapter 5. Determinants of African agricultural exports
Chapter 7. West Africa trade outlook: business as usual vs alternative options
Chapter 8. Summary and conclusions


New! on the topic of Regional Trade in Africa: Drivers, Trends and Opportunities

Programme and Background Note 



Biodata of the speakers 

CTA Resources
– Spore no. 178 “REGIONAL TRADE: The customers next door” [2015, download]
– ‘Opportunities for Value-chain Finance in Africa’s Intra-regional Food Trade’ [2016, download]
– ‘West Africa: Regional trade – what’s the story?’ [2017, download]



8h15-9h00        Registration

9h00-9h15         Introduction to the Briefing: Isolina Boto, Manager, CTA Brussels Office [video]

Introductory remarks: Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant-Secretary-General, ACP Secretariat [video]; Axel Pougin de la Maisonneuve, Deputy Head of Unit, Private Framework Development, Trade and Regional Integration, DG DEVCO, European Commission [video]; Michael Hailu, Director of CTA [video]

Special address:          Future prospects for Africa in global trade
                                            Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD [video]

 9h15-11h00 Panel 1: Overview of Africa regional trade

This panel will provide an overview of the main trends in inter and intra-regional trade in Africa and the main drivers of success.
Chair: H.E. Mr Tadeous Tafirenyika Chifamba, Ambassador of Zimbabwe 


– Trends in African regional trade
Ousmane Badiane, Director for Africa, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)  [presentation|video]

– Innovative finance for agriculture transformation
Josephine Mwangi, Manager, Agriculture & Agro-Industry Dept, African Development Bank [presentation|video]

– New opportunities for regional trade within the EPAs implementation
Sandra Gallina, Director for Sustainable Development, DG Trade at the European Commission  [presentation|video]

– Challenges and successes in implementing regional trade agreements
Dominique Njinkeu, Executive Director, African Trade and Sustainable Development (AFTSD)  [presentation|video]

Panel 1 Debate [video]

 11h00-11h15 Coffee Break

11h15-13h00 Panel 2: Implementing regional trade: successes and opportunities ahead

This panel will look at specific examples of successes in the implementation of regional trade agreements and will bring various perspectives, including the private sector.
ChairH.E. Mr Ousmane Sylla, Ambassador of Guinea to the EU


– Growth opportunities for the private sector in East Africa as a result of regional integration
Annette Mutaawe, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, TradeMark East Africa  [presentation|video]

– New opportunities in regional trade
Argent Chuula, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA)  [presentation|video]

– Promoting regional trade through PPPs and agribusiness development
Ishmael Sunga, CEO, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU)  [presentation|video]

– Investment opportunities and PPPs
Nana Osei-Bonsu, CEO, the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), Ghana [presentation|video]

Panel 2 Debate [video]

Concluding remarksRoberto Ridolfi, Director for Sustainable Growth and Development, DG EuropeAid, European Commission [video]; Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant-Secretary-General, ACP Secretariat [video]; Michael Hailu, Director of CTA [video]

Concluding Debate [video]

13h00               Networking Lunch

6 thoughts on “Brussels Briefing 47: “Regional Trade in Africa: Drivers, Trends and Opportunities”

  1. I suppose that the briefing is so important to Africans. Meanwhile, I comment that the briefing to incliude ,ore participants from Africa.

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