Nigeria’s regional trade dips to 4th behind SA, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

Only three years after implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, Nigeria has begun to observe a decline in intra-continental trade and performance rankings among nations.

The Africa Export-Import Bank which reported this in its Africa Trade Report 2024, headlined, “Climate Implications of the AfCFTA Implementation”, noted that Nigeria’s proportion of total intra-African trade declined to roughly 4.2 percent in 2023 from 4.4 percent in 2022, according to Vanguard.

According to the report, Nigeria’s intra-Africa trade fell by 2.1 per cent to $8 billion in 2023, down from $8.2 billion the previous year, ranking fourth after South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, and Egypt.

The report stated “This decline led to a marginal reduction in Nigeria’s share of total intra-African trade, which dropped from 4.4 percent in 2022 to about 4.2 percent in 2023.

“Approximately 5.1 percent of Nigeria’s exports were directed to African countries, with Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, and Senegal being the top three destinations for Nigerian exports within the continent.”

In the report, Nigeria’s imports from the rest of Africa remained relatively low, accounting for less than 2.9 percent of its total imports.

The Afreximbank report projected the export potentials for intra-African commerce would exceed $69.4 billion by 2023, implying that the current level of intra-African trade may climb to $261.6 billion, accounting for 36% of total intra-African trade, all other things being equal.

The report highlighted important products with great export potential in Africa, such as machinery, power, automobiles and parts, food, minerals, beauty products, chemicals, plastic and rubber, ferrous metals, pearls and precious stones, and fertilizers.

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