WTO chief wants to 'double or triple' Africa's share of global trade

2023-03-18 21:50:55
WTO chief wants to 'double or triple' Africa's share of global trade

Global trade is expected to slow sharply this year as high energy prices and rising interest rates take their toll on the economy.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) projected in October that after growing by 3.5% in 2022, trade volumes will increase by just 1% in 2023.

Despite that, Africa may start to reap the benefits of a free trade deal that came into effect in 2021.

The landmark African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement created the world's largest new free trade area since the establishment of the WTO.

The same year, Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was appointed as the WTO's director general, becoming the first woman and the first African to hold the position.

“Africa's share of global trade at 3% is too little. We need to do something to double and triple that,” Okonjo-Iweala told CNN in an interview.

“We need to overcome the challenges that lie in front of the continental free trade area: we need the infrastructure to work, we need to digitize more, so that we overcome some of the bureaucratic hurdles that make it difficult to trade, and we need to reduce trade costs,” she added.


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