WTO: 2020 Annual Report released


The World Trade Organisation (WTO) published on 28 May its latest Annual Report, the document that provides a comprehensive summary of the activities carried out by the Organisation during the period 2019/early 2020.

The report, among other things, gives an update of the status of the accession of new countries to the Organisation, included South Sudan, Comoros and Ethiopia, the latter planning to conclude the process by the end of 2021.

In 2019, the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) also reviewed the trade policies and practices of 16 WTO members , including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda (regionally grouped as members of the East African Community). All the reports are available here. A description of the accession process is provided in our article.

The WTO Annual Report points out as the intra-EAC trade in 2017 slight decreased at 9.7% (from 9.9% in 2016), the main players being Rwanda (19.7%) and Uganda (16.3%), the latter being also the EAC country that exports more in the Community (28.5%), followed by Kenya (19.3%), while their imports from other EAC countries are respectively 10% and 3.5%.

On 22 May 2020, also the Africa Union published a revised edition of the Africa Regional Integration Index (ARII 2019) report, which assesses the regional integration status and efforts of member states of the eight Regional Economic Communities officially recognised by the African Union. The AU report concludes that Africa is poorly integrated on the productive and infrastructural dimensions. The ARII 2019 also considers South Africa and Kenya as the most integrated countries in Africa (with South Africa as the top performer on the productive and infrastructural dimensions), while South Sudan and Eritrea are the least integrated ones.