UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport 2021 published on 18 November says the African Continental Free Trade Area could boost intra-African trade by up to 33% and cut the continent’s trade deficit by 51%.

A study by the UN Economic Commission for Africa with a time horizon of 2030 indicates that cargo transported by vessels would increase from 58 million to 132 million tons with the implementation of AfCFTA.

The study says Comoros, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Somalia will experience a surge in traffic through their ports by 2030 as a result of AfCFTA.

If the necessary infrastructure projects are implemented, Africa’s maritime fleet is projected to increase by 188% for bulk and 180% for container cargoes.

UNCTAD estimates Africa’s international maritime trade, including both goods loaded and discharged, to have fallen by 7.6% in 2020. While 2021 saw a revival in world cargo trade, the recovery was uneven, with exports from Africa and the Middle East remaining under pressure.

Africa’s contribution to global containerized trade remained relatively low in 2020, with container ports on the continent holding a 3.9% share of global container port traffic, compared to Asia with nearly two-thirds and Europe with 14.9%.

The report notes that the longest times in port for container ships are generally in Africa, notably in Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania. Morocco is an exception, with one of the world’s shortest times for vessels in port. Tanger Med, Morocco, was also Africa’s best-connected port in 2020, the report states.

Review of Maritime Transport 2021 https://cutt.ly/pTOjnAu

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