Facilitating Trade in Africa

Lories and cars queuing on a dirt road

Borders snarled with lorries, goods stuck in ports for months and multiple checkpoints are all obvious examples of how the flow of trade in Africa is compromised each and every day.

AfTra funds projects designed to facilitate trade in Africa and provides technical assistance to ensure that each project has the best chance of success. Around 40% of AfTra’s available fund is apportioned to trade facilitation projects.

Tackling trade issues head-on

The Fund provides technical assistance or training to address priorities identified by countries or RECs in their Trade Action Plans or trade facilitation activities. 

We facilitate consultations to remove bottlenecks at borders, reduce wait-times and improve safety and security. We work with border agencies to streamline border processes and reduce costs. We help governments to modernize customs and upgrade logistics. 

The fund pays special attention to the requirements of Fragile States and covers small trans-boundary and trade-related infrastructure, good governance (transparency of trade regulations and procedures), knowledge management and capacity building (for training), and sustainable development.

Focused on outcomes

The projects we support are all outcome focused. Typical outputs include significant reduction in transaction costs, free and timely movement of goods and people, and enhanced transparency of laws, regulations, procedures, and forms. 

Through investment and technical assistance, our aim is to help Africa to:

  • Develop more efficient customs facilities (hardware, software and technology applications) and logistics established at gateways and along transport and trade corridors
  • Streamline customs and trade regulations and procedures by RMCs and RECs
  • Ensure that customs staff are well trained and effective

Supported by

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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