Continental guidelines for collecting Informal cross border trade statistics (ICBT) in Africa


The African Union Institute for Statistics (STATAFRIC), in partnership with the Pan African Statistics Programme II Service Contract (PAS II SC) are pleased to inform the continental statistical system that updated continental guidelines for collecting informal cross border trade statistics in Africa have just been released.

The development of continental methodological guidelines and frameworks is essential to make sure that International Merchandise Trade Statistics are developed on an harmonized basis across the continent and to enhance the coverage and quality of such statistics.  

Harmonized compilation of informal cross border trade transactions will help African Union member states to move towards full coverage of their trade flows in accordance with the Manual on International Merchandise Trade Statistics 2010 (IMTS 2010) and plug gaps in Balance of Payments and National Accounts statistics.

These guidelines describe and explain the major concepts and definitions in relation with the compilation of ICBT statistics. They provide practical recommendations regarding, in particular, the process of managing ICBT surveys including guidance on institutional arrangements, recruitment and training of staff, budgeting etc. They also showcase best practices in the compilation and estimation of ICBT flows and propose a generic data collection instrument as well as a list of key tables to be produced for comparison purposes across the content.

It is expected that this manual will lead to an improved quality of merchandise trade statistics produced by AU member states thanks to an efficient cooperation between their statistical offices and all agencies involved in the compilation of these statistics.

To download the Guidelines click here

For more information, please contact Mr.Adoum Gagoloum (, Head of Economic Statistics Division at African Union Institute for Statistics (STATAFRIC)