IOE and IT convenes gathering of leading African nations to discuss free trade

Thu 9 Feb 2023
Posted by: Richard Cree
IOE News

Continent of Africa in digital project coming out of phone

Last night (8 February) the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) hosted a dinner for the leading high commissioners from the African nations in London, including Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana and Namibia.

The event was sponsored by Labour MP Chi Onwurah, chair of the Africa All Party Group, and Andrew Mitchell MP, the overseas development minister.

Unlocking potential

The aim of the evening was to discuss “Unlocking the Trade Potential of Africa”, exploring ways the UK government’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) can bring to life the opportunities and potential for both intra-Africa trade and trade between the UK and Africa.

Speaking at the event, Marco Forgione, director general of IOE&IT, said:

“The World Bank estimates that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), signed by 54 of the 55 members of the African Union, will lead to a 32% increase in African exports by 2035 and a 109% rise in intra-African goods movements.

“It's a huge opportunity for UK businesses to build more resilient supply chains to grow and ensure that development across Africa. This trade brings benefit to Africa and helps to further integrate Africa into the global trading network.

“Trade has a unique capacity, through the exchange of knowledge, to transform lives, transform communities and to transform nations. Building closer, more streamlined trading relationships between the UK and Africa will bring huge benefits to both African nations and the UK.”

IOE&IT has delivered bespoke educational programmes to export promotion agencies, businesses and individuals in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana, building the know-how needed for compliant and sustainable trade.

Ongoing work

Since January 2020, IOE&IT has been working with TradeMark Africa to develop digital trade corridor in Africa and between African countries and the UK.

The Trade and Logistics Information Pipeline (TLIP) is the first digital trade corridor to be established between the UK and a developing country (in this case, Kenya) since the UK’s departure from the EU.