Earlier on Tuesday morning Standard Bank launched its first ever Africa Trade Barometer. As the name would suggest, the inaugural publishing of the Barometer will look at rapidly emerging enterprises heavily focused on domestic, cross-border and global trade.
The financial institution is planning to make the Africa Trade Barometer a biannual publication, with Standard Bank leveraging the insights it is able to glean from operating in more than 20 markets across the continent.
According to Philip Myburgh (pictured above), head of Trade and Africa-China at Standard Bank, “Since insight is key to leveraging trade to build resilience, our Africa Trade Barometer couldn’t be launching at a better time.”
Some of the early insights from the Barometer show that the short-term challenges facing the continent as regards trade will demand closer coordination between different authorities and nations.
“Over the long term, rapidly growing markets in East and West Africa and the re-emergence of global growth post Covid-19, currently combine with the broadly ratified African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to present considerable opportunity for Africa’s small, medium, and larger domestic businesses,” highlights Standard Bank in a press release sent to Hypertext.
As mentioned, the Barometer will be a biannual publication and will initially focus on Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.
Added to this will be a sharing comparative data on trade openness, access to finance, macroeconomic stability, infrastructure, foreign trade, governance, economy and trade finance behaviour.
“Qualitative and quantitative intelligence gathered from 2 400 firms representing SMEs, large family businesses, corporates and multinationals across all 10 economies is analysed and then augmented with third-party sources including the World Bank, International Trade Center, and individual country central banks,” explains Standard Bank.
“We expect the Africa Trade Barometer to become the leading index of African trade trends, activities and developments as Africa’s small, medium and large businesses define the continent’s next stage of domestic growth and regional and global expansion,” notes Myburgh.
The financial institution believes this index will offer a unique view of African trade and become a valuable resource for business people, students, governments, NGOs and investors considering the continent, along entrepreneurs on the continent.
With trade opportunities in Africa currently estimated at $70 billion annually, there is certainly a space for an index like this to provide greater insights. Whether it will become the trade index on the continent, remains to be seen.