Ghana African Continental Free Trade Area Data Portal
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, working with the International Trade Centre (and funded by the European Union) has developed a robust portal that enables traders to obtain key data about doing business in African markets.
The Africa Trade Observatory (ATO) is an intelligence tool that enables companies to explore and compare trade opportunities across Africa. It has several key features:
1. Under the Compare module, the ATO allows traders to compare trade and market access (tariff rate) information across multiple African countries, to help determine which markets may be most viable for exports. This includes the Most Favored Nation tariff rate that would apply to U.S. exports (except U.S. exports to Morocco enter Morocco duty free under the U.S. Morocco Free Trade Agreement). The compare module also shows current trade in specific products by tariff line and projects possible “untapped potential” in terms of demand and market access conditions. [The latter is somewhat comparable to the International Trade Administration’s Market Diversification Tool.]
2. Under the ATO’s Explore module, traders can find consolidated information about market access conditions, including tariffs, taxes, and other charges in individual African countries. There is also summary information about regulatory requirements. This includes information about individual African countries’ testing, standards, certification, labeling, licensing, and permits and customs inspections, for example. The portal also provides further data about market conditions such as the existence of quotas, subsidies, local content, and temporary restrictions on imports.
3. Under the Explore/Business Contacts section, traders can access information about African banks that may provide trade finance and Trade Promotion Organizations in African Countries.
The development phase of the ATO featured information from the East African Community and 13 pilot AfCFTA Member States (Cameroon, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, and Uganda). The ATO portal is expanding to include data from other AfCFTA Parties over time.
For more information about Africa’s regional integration and to formulate your strategy for doing business in this context, contact: U.S. Commercial Service Ghana at Office.Accra@trade.gov, Tel: +233-(0)30-274-1870. To see Commercial Service Ghana’s market intelligence and explanations about emerging regulatory measures and other laws affecting business in Ghana, please see our extensive market intelligence reporting.