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The 29th edition of the Afreximbank Annual Meeting which took place on 17 and 18 June 2022 in New Cairo, Egypt, brought together a number of participants from across Africa and the world. The meeting revealed encouraging statistics on intra-African trade since the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

On the whole, the official 2022 trade report shows significant progress with an increase of 31% in 2021 compared to 16% in 2020. A detailed analysis of intra-African trade shows an increase of around 18% in 2021 compared to 2020. This will take the continent past the 1,000-billion-dollar mark, representing an increase of more than 624,000 billion CFA francs.

The report indicates that Africa only accounts for 15% of global trade compared to 72% for European countries. Europe, however, is losing its position as Africa's main economic partner to Asia, which holds the lead with a trade volume of 32% of the continent's trade deals.

The sharpest increase in intra-African trade is in Southern Africa, with South Africa alone accounting for 20%. The other parts of the continent, namely North and Central Africa, are still benefiting from this. Central Africa, which includes Cameroon, has still not crossed the 5% threshold of intra-African trade.

Dr. Benedict Okey Oramah, President of AFREXIMBANK, recommends that Africa should develop virgin sectors such as the creative and cultural industries as they are among the fastest-growing industries in the world, i.e., 3% of the world's gross domestic product. Above all, he urged Africans to put aside their differences and breakdown barriers to trade between African regions.

(Source: Cameroon tribune No. 12622/8821 of 20 June 2022)