Frequently Asked Questions

We hope that these frequently asked questions (FAQs) will help you to consider if your project is suitable for AfTra funding, or simply to learn a little more about what we do.


What is the Africa Trade Fund?

The Africa Trade Fund (AfTra) is one of Africa’s leading trade facilitation funding organisations.

What is its purpose?

Created in March 2012 by the African Development Bank (AfDB), our purpose is to assist low-income African countries to improve trade performance and competitiveness.

Which areas does it support?

AfTra funds projects designed to facilitate trade, develop products and markets and build capacity in institutions. Priority sectors such as agriculture (especially SPS), soft infrastructure, institutional capacity development, private sector development, as well as science and technology are all examples of the type of projects supported. 

What is a typical AfTra project?

  1. Improving trade facilitation includes projects aiming to remove bottlenecks at borders, reduce waiting times, improve safety and security of trade and traders, streamline border processes, modernize customs and upgrade logistics.
  2. Products and Markets Development typically includes projects aimed at increasing product quality, productivity and value addition in agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and textiles, etc.
  3. Building capacity in institutions includes strengthening Country and Regional trade-related institutions by providing technical assistance to help better implement trade action plans.

What are the types of activities financed?

  1. Dialogue and consensus building: The organization or participation in national or regional meetings, conferences and workshops.
  2. Knowledge, information building and dissemination: Studies including baseline studies, environmental and gender-related studies and other studies to improve on project quality and viability.
  3. Capacity development (through technical assistance): Human resource development (formal and attachment training); and
  4. Institutional capacity development (including equipment to modernize customs or port clearing facilities, laboratory and testing equipment, computers and other IT equipment).

Is the funding provided as a grant or a loan?

Financing from AfTra shall be provided in the form of non-reimbursable grants only.

Who is eligible?

Check our Eligibility section to find out if your organization is likely to be eligible.

How do you apply?

Our How to Apply section explains what to do when the Bank issues a “call for proposals”. 

How long does it take to get approved?

AfTra is set up as a demand-driven, quick access, and quick disbursing Fund. Our robust Application Process is designed to be fast, but thorough.

How are the funds monitored?

Beneficiaries are required to submit regular reports on the financial status and implementation progress of projects financed under AfTra. At the end of each project, a final project completion report summaries performance, successes and lessons learned.


Do you have any other questions?

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us

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Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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