East Africa continues to experience an impressive intra-trade growth trajectory

Member States of the East African Business Council
  • Trade between member states of the East African Trade Council experiences growth in 2022. 
  • The trade bloc hit an intra-trade value of $10.17 billion, from $9.5 billion in 2021. 
  • This growth was largely due to the removal of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) previously hindering intra-regional trade. 

During the last quarter of 2022, the East African Trade Council hit an intra-trade value of $10.17 billion, which represents a 20% proportion of intra-trade to world commerce.

Ms. Angelina Ngalula, Chairperson for the East African Business Council shared her optimism, noting that intra-trade within East Africa has gone nowhere else but up.

She revealed in her estimation that the intra-regional-trade could hit $15 billion in 2023 as a result of prevailing political goodwill.

During the beginning of the new year, she made mention of the same political goodwill in her new year’s address, stating that the efforts from the leaders of the EAC partner nations in things like the removal of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) was key to the EAC intra-trade growth. The trade jumped from $9.5 billion in 2021, to $10.17 billion in 2022.


“Last year, we saw greater political will on the part of the leaders of the EAC Partner States in promoting the expansion of intra-EAC commerce,” Ms. Angelina Ngalula stated.

Some of the Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) hindering intra-regional trade that these leaders were able to eliminate includes, the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions and admission of the DRC Congo into the EAC.

The data pertaining to the intra-EAC trade, accounting for imports and exports in the seven EAC Partner States, for the last 3 years show that trade grew by 13% in 2019 at a value of $7.1 billion, to 15% in 2021 at a value of $9.5 billion, and to $10.17 billion in 2022, representing a 20% share of Intra-trade to global trade.

This data also revealed that the EAC's total trade with the rest of the world stood at $62 billion in 2022.

Furthermore, Ms. Angelina Ngalula disclosed that the council would be working with the head of the EAC Heads of State Summit in 2023 to improve food security, strengthen the integration of regional supply chains, remove non-tariff barriers, restrictions on the free movement of services, double taxation, open skies, telecommunications, and infrastructure development to support business expansion across EAC borders.


“A pre-heads of state summit consultation and presentation of memoranda of private sector policy priorities to the EAC Council of Ministers during the high-level summit on Common Market Protocol were among the EABC milestones achieved in 2022,” Ms. Angelina Ngalula said.


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