African Development Bank to Host Expert Working Group On Informal Cross-Border Trade

12 April 2019
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African Development Bank (Abidjan)

Ccia Building of the African Development Bank, Abidjan — WHAT: Expert Group Meeting on Informal Cross-Border Trade (ICBT).

WHO: The African Development Bank, the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Africa Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK),

WHEN: 16th and 17th April, 2019

WHERE: CCIA Building of the African Development Bank, Abidjan

The African Development Bank in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Africa Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM Bank), is organizing an Expert Group meeting on the subject of Informal Cross-Border Trade (ICBT).

The meeting will take place in Abidjan on 16th and 17th April 2019, at the Bank's CCIA building.

Informal cross-border trade has remained a dilemma for the African continent. It is a pervasive phenomenon around Africa's internal borders. Although it accounts for a significant amount of trade on the continent, it also remains a moving target, whose data has continually defied capture in national, regional and continental trade and accounting statistics. Sources indicate that between 20 and 40% of trade is informal.

The subject of informal cross-border trade is also attracting renewed attention, given its contribution to the economies of African countries and the need, therefore, to design appropriate methodologies to effectively document this aspect of economic activity on the continent. The recent ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area adds impetus to the need to understand this sector.

The Expert Group has been put together to address the challenge of capturing data. A key task of the project, among others, is the design of a data gathering and collation methodology and launch of a pilot study on the active Abidjan-Lagos Highway corridor.

The project has a number of important ramifications for relevant Bank departments and other partners, in terms of trade, research and statistics, gender, food security and employment-related dimensions of ICBT. The Industrial and Trade Development Department (PITD) is coordinating the Bank's participation in this important continental initiative.

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