The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Export– Import Bank (Afreximbank) have announced the development of the African Trade Exchange Platform (ATEX), a digital business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) tool to boost trade in Africa. A statement issued by the ECA over the weekend explained that ATEX would help boost intra-African trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). According to the statement, the Platform was developed in partnership with the African Union and the African Continental Free Trade Area (Af- CFTA) Secretariat. The ECA said that the ATEX platform will enable the trade of the main agricultural commodities and inputs imported by the continent from Russia and Ukraine, including cereals, fertilizer and associated inputs, oils, oilseed, other products, and inputs that support agricultural value chains.
“The impact of the AfCFTA on intra-African trade is likely to be much higher as the above estimates don’t consider informal cross-border trade which is prevalent in most African LDCs. “African LDCs are extremely vulnerable to global shocks due to their current trading patterns and the Af- CFTA will be instrumental in cushioning African LDCs from external shocks and bolstering the industrialization of these countries,” the statement said. It added the AfCFTA was expected to impact countries differently, based on their existing comparative advantages.