Press Releases


ECOWAS, Afreximbank and UNECA unveil Study on Informal Cross-Border Trade in West Africa

14 Nov, 2023

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) unveiled a study on Informal Cross-Border Trade (ICBT) in the ECOWAS Region at the ongoing 3rd Intra-African Trade Fair in Cairo on November 12, 2023. The study was launched from 2019 to 2023, with the objective of collecting ICBT data along the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor (ALCO) to measure the volume of trade.


In her statement at the unveiling ceremony, Mme Massandjé Toure-Liste, the Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture of the ECOWAS Commission, highlighted that in view of the importance of informal trade, the ECOWAS Commission established the Informal Trade Regulation Support Program (PARCI/ITRSP) to leverage the informal sector for increased intra-regional trade.


While delivering his keynote address, Mr. Albert Muchanga, the Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals of the African Union, underscored the importance of mainstreaming ICBT to formal Intra-African Trade, as he said up to 60% of Intra-African trade may be unrecorded.


The study which was carried out in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo over a period of four (4) months found out that about $22.8 million volume of informal trade is carried out on the corridor, with women accounting for 74% and men 26%.

Member States