Nigeria’s trade with the rest of Africa increased by 40.8 percent Year-on-Year (YoY) in the first half of 2023 (H1’23) to N1.839 trillion from N1.306 trillion recorded in the corresponding period of 2022 (H1’22).
This represents a reversal in the declining trend of the nation’s intra-African trade over the same period since 2020, in terms of value.
Available data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that Nigeria’s intra-African trade in H1’21 amounted to N1.47 trillion out of total foreign trade of N21.79 trillion; and N1.67 trillion in H1’20 out of N14.55 trillion total foreign trade recorded within the period.
The NBS data on Nigeria’s external trade data with the rest of Africa also indicates that the intra-Africa trade is gaining more ground against total foreign trade recorded by the country in the past three years.
The N1.839 trillion recorded in H1’23 represents 7.42 percent of the total foreign trade of N24.789 trillion recorded in the period.
Comparatively, the N1.306 trillion recorded in H1’22 was 5.05 percent of the N25.843 trillion total foreign trade in the period; N1.47 trillion in H1’21 represented 6.75 percent of total foreign trade of N21.79 trillion; while in H1’20, the N1.67 trillion recorded represented 11.48 percent of N14.55 trillion total foreign trade recorded within the period.
However, Nigeria recorded N2.095 trillion trade with the rest of the African continent in H2’2022 out of a total foreign trade of N23.32 trillion within the period, representing 8.98 percent.
On an annual basis, Nigeria’s intra-African trade volume has been on a steady decline since 2021 when AfCFTA kicked off. In 2020, the percentage of Nigeria’s intra-African trade stood at 11.03 per cent, declined to 7.46 per cent in 2021 and further went down to 6.5 per cent in 2020.
The trend generally implies a slow start to the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Nigeria is not part of the African countries which have commenced trading under the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI) of the AfCFTA.
The Chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria’s Export Promotion Group (MANEG), Mrs. Odiri Erewa-Meggison, told Vanguard that, “Nigeria was not in the first batch of countries to trade under the GTI because the minimum requirements for doing so had not been satisfied when it kicked off”.
Eight countries namely, Rwanda, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Tanzania and Tunisia are already operating on the GTI because they have met the minimum requirements for trade under the agreement.