As its name implies, the Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT) action plan aims to overcome the barriers for intra-African trade, intending to double trade flows by 2022. The BIAT action plan focuses on seven interlinked areas, and is coupled with the Continental Free-Trade Agreement (CFTA), due to be adopted in March 2018.

Can intra Africa trade double by 2022The CFTA is an Africa-wide free trade agreement (FTA) designed to boost intra-African trade and pave the way for the future establishment of a continental customs union. It builds on existing Tripartite FTA negotiations among three African regional economic communities (REC’s): the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the East African Community (EAC), although it would like to incorporate all other African RECs too.

The decision to establish the CFTA was adopted as early as 2012 by the heads of state at the 18th ordinary session of the African Union (AU), and negotiations officially began in June 2015. In bringing together all 54 African countries with a combined GDP of more than $3,4 trillion, the CFTA is an ambitious project that will connect more than one billion people to a variety of cross-continental goods and services through enhanced trade facilitation and greater movement of people and investments.

The President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, and the Executive Secretary for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Vera Songwe, consider intra-African trade to be “different from the trade goods that flow from Africa to the rest of the world, which are mostly crops, mineral products, metals and oil”. They believe that the CFTA will allow local small and medium-sized enterprises – the continent's overwhelming employer – to manufacture and sell “value-added and industrial products” like processed agricultural goods, basic produce and financial and retail services to neighbours.

According to them, it is incumbent upon BIAT and CFTA to enable and require Africans to produce physical and digital products and services that Africans need or want; make it easier to pay for them; resolve disputes quickly and online; protect personal data; protect intellectual property; have affordable, reliable Internet access; selectively use blockchain; and cede national pride for the benefit of the continent.

Image credit: : https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/profiles/vera-songwe


African Fusion

AfricanFusionAfrican Fusion, the official publication of the Southern African Institute of Welding (SAIW), aims to provide up-to-date insight into welding technology and the welding industry.

Capital Equipment News

Capital Equipment News is dedicated to the application of equipment and modes of transport that are used in the mining, construction, quarrying, and transport industries.

Construction World

ConstructionWorldConstruction World was first published in 1982 and has grown to become a leader in its field, offering a unique mix of editorial coverage to satisfy the diverse needs of its readers.

Electricity + Control

ElectricityandControlE + C publishes innovative, technical articles that provide solutions to engineering challenges in measurement, automation, control, and energy management.

Lighting in Design

LightingandDesignLighting in Design is a glossy, upmarket publication aimed at lighting professionals. It is the only B2B magazine in SA that is dedicated solely to the subject of lighting.

MechChem Africa

MechChemJanuary2017cover MechChem Africa supports African engineering and technical managers across the full spectrum of chemical and mechanical disciplines.

Modern Mining

ModernMiningEstablished in 2005, Modern Mining is one of SA's leading monthly mining magazines, noted for the quality and accuracy of its writing and the breadth of its coverage.

Modern Quarrying

ModernQuarryingModern Quarrying is firmly entrenched as a leading industry-specific magazine. It focuses on promoting the science and practice of quarrying and processing in southern Africa.

Sparks Electrical News

SparksElectricalNewsReadable and informative, Sparks Electrical News is the newspaper for those involved in installing and maintaining electrical supplies and equipment.

Full Name*
Invalid Input

Company Name*
Invalid Input

Your Email*
Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Postal Address 1*
Invalid Input

Postal Address 2*
Invalid Input

Postal Code*
Invalid Input

Street Address 1
Invalid Input

Street Address 2
Invalid Input

Postal Code
Invalid Input

Town / City*
Invalid Input

Invalid Input


Invalid Input

Invalid Input