South Africa: Standard Bank Launches Its Africa Trade Barometer to Plug Information Gap

analysis

The provision of accurate data on trading conditions in sub-Saharan Africa could unblock a $70-billion trade opportunity for companies in the region, as well as investors. Standard Bank has stepped up to fill what it says is an information vacuum.

Economies in sub-Saharan Africa have struggled to regain their growth momentum after Covid-19. The region is not rising, nor collapsing, but it is decelerating, says Dr Albert Zeufack, the World Bank's chief economist for Africa.

In particular the region's three largest economies -- Nigeria, South Africa and Angola -- are experiencing sluggish growth momentum.

Beyond the short-term shocks inflicted by the pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, reviving Africa's fortunes requires deeper structural changes that will transform subsistence agriculture, support the creation of smart cities and accelerate maths and science education. These objectives seem so Herculean that they often lead to paralysis.

However, recognising that trade is Africa's heartbeat and that stimulating trade would drive economic growth, it's possible to ask a smaller, more targeted question: what can be done to stimulate trade?

One answer, from Standard Bank, is to provide business owners, investors and policymakers with detailed information on trade happening across the region. The result is the inaugural...

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