The need to improve African trade is of great importance to SA, with the gradual materialisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) an encouraging factor. SA’s exports to AfCFTA countries already account for nearly a quarter of the country’s global exports, and this should in theory rise rapidly as the agreement kicks in.

It nevertheless remains a reality that there are many major inhibitors of African trade that remain stubbornly in place, including the turbulent geopolitical context, adverse regulatory frameworks, the fragmented African market, and energy, and water and finance challenges. The need to strengthen multimodal transport infrastructure, with its key role in the creation and functioning of production value chains, remains particularly relevant, as is the need for improved stakeholder co-operation. ..

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