Trade finance is essential for International trade, but despite this importance the understanding of the trade finance in Africa is under explored because of the data scarsity, in particular data concerning the size of the market, the variations across sub-regions, the scale of financing gap,the trade finance devoted to intra-African trade, the constraints faced by banks.
To fill this information gap the African Development Bank recently released “Trade Finance in Africa”, a report based on a survey of the trade finance activities performed by commercial banks between 2011 and 2012, in particular the survey covered about 276 banks across 45 African countries on their trade finance activities.
The report shows a positive outlook for trade finance in Africa. Most commercial banks are active in trade finance, with 72% expecting to increase their trade finance activities in the immediate future. However, banks foresee obstacles to their trade finance portfolio and it exists a significant role for governments and development finance istitucions (DFIs), in particular trade facilitation programs addressing USD liquidity.Read the whole report here