West African trade in world trade remains relatively low, whether for coastal or landlocked countries. Intra-regional trade must also improve as it represents less than 10% of each country's trade. According to UNCTAD's 2019 Economic Development in Africa Report, in 2017, intra-African exports accounted for 17% of total exports, compared to 68% for intra-European exports, 59% for intra-Asian exports, and 55% for intra-American exports.
The Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies (DTISs) conducted in Benin, Burkina Faso, and Niger (the beneficiary countries) show a weak implementation of regional and bilateral instruments on transport, transit, and trade facilitation, significantly impacting the competitiveness and economic and social development of these countries. In parallel, the DTIS carried out in the beneficiary countries of the project have illustrated the many opportunities for better participation of these three countries into the value chains.
The West Africa project will hold an Executive High-level workshop, gathering the delegations from Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso to take stock of the successful activities and outcomes delivered in 2022 and plan the upcoming project activities and deliverable for 2023.
The workshop will be covering the following activities:
- reflect on the examined ISRT updated text and the project concrete proposals for improvement integrating the advances of SIGMAT into the regional coordination mechanisms of transit, considering the introduction of the new transit guarantee management mechanism with the purpose to strengthen regional integration through the automation of transit procedures.
- take stock of the outcomes of the national validation workshops on road transport regulatory framework in Benin, Niger and the upcoming one in Burkina Faso.
- present a proposal for a strategy to converge the sub-regional legislative framework while giving space to discuss coordinated action at the sub-regional level.
- present the methodological approach for the coordinated implementation of the TFA articles identified as priorities for the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement in Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso
The event will gather representatives from Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, World Bank and the European University Institute. Among others, EIF secretariat, EIF Focal Points and EIF National Implementation Unit Cordinators of these countries.
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TopicTransport, logistics and trade facilitation Africa Least developed countries Landlocked developing countries
Mr. Stefano Inama
Regional Advisory Programme
Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries
and Special Programmes