The President of African Export-Import Bank, Mr. Jean-Louis Ekra, has revealed that total African trade grew to about $1tn in 2010 from about $200bn in the early 1990s.
This was uncovered while presenting his keynote address at 50 Lagos Dinner and Fundraising recently at the University of Nigeria
He said intra-African trade also grew over the corresponding period from $8bn in 1986 through $26bn in 1996 to about $104bn, while the region’s foreign exchange reserves rose to $475bn in 2010, from $40bn 20 years ago.
Ekra said the spread of democracy, prudent macro-economic policies, the rise of entrepreneurship through private enterprise, globalization and the rise of China and India that had improved over-dependence on Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development economies has really helped Africa.
He, however, noted that Africa still faced considerable challenges as over 28 0f Africa’s 54 countries still depended on a single commodity, oil or non-oil, for between 50 per cent to over 70 per cent of their export earnings.
According to him, most African exports are still hardly processed, while intra-regional trade is still low, accounting for about 10 per cent of total African trade.
The process however, requires the continued commitment of all Africans and other international agencies of development to improve the economy of Africa, he added.