African Union launches the African Trade Observatory


The African Union has launched the beta version of a new online portal, still under development, that provides updated and reliable data aimed, among other things, to inform business and policy decisions and to monitor the implementation process of the AfCFTA and its impact.

The African Trade Observatory (ATO) is an initiative supported by the European Union (EU) and the International Trade Centre (ITC), which allows traders to access to updated information on trade flows and explore market opportunities in all the continent, in an attempt to increase regional integration and intra-continental trade, that compared to other regional blocks is particularly low in Africa (for further details, read our post).

Information available on the portal includes intra-African trade flows (traded values, traded quantities, use of tariff preferences, taxes and fees paid at the border), and information on market conditions (such as taxes applicable at the border and regulatory requirements).

The portal's users can compare trade and market access information across countries, products or markets and find detailed trade and market access-related information for a country-product-market combination. New functions to be integrated in the portal that are currently under development will include the monitoring of the state of intra-African integration and access to advanced trade indicators for all African countries. Moreover, the EU has pledged an additional €5 million to the ATO project to expand its scope by including additional modules on services, investment, and rules of origin.