Strengthening Africa's Trade Statistics: Key technical missions to DRC and Cameroon


In the stride towards data-driven economic development, the Pan-African Statistics Programme II (PAS II), with backing from the European Union, has launched targeted technical assistance missions on trade statistics in Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In a concerted effort to bolster data management capabilities, Pan-African Statistics Programme II (PAS II) has completed the missions that were both aimed at enhancing the utilization of EUROTRACE software for International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) at the national institutes of statistics in the two countries.

A lot of technical ground covered

In Cameroon, the focus was on installing essential software like SQL Server and establishing EUROTRACE, enhancing data management and initiating quality control mechanisms. The DRC's efforts were aligned with updating methodologies to include non-customs data, adhering to the IMTS 2010 guidelines, ensuring a more comprehensive capture of trade data. Mr. Romeo ADJOVI, the lead trainer in DRC, expressed satisfaction with the progress made during the mission.

  • I believe we have laid a strong foundation for improving data management practices at the NIS. By empowering staff with essential skills and methodologies, we are poised to enhance the accuracy and reliability of trade statistics in the DRC.

More to follow up

The efforts on improving trade statistics will be followed up in both countries over the next years. The follow-up activities will focus on ensuring the availability of detailed data to further enhance the existing domain, implementation of methodology and further training of staff.

The important trade statistics

Trade statistics of good quality is important to measure the economies on both a national, continental and international level. Harmonized trade statistics is also important as a tool to measure the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that was established in 2018.

PAS II also recognises the importance of improved African trade statistics, making it one of the top priorities in the four-year programme. One of the goals for PAS II is to ensure all AU Member States use the standard IMTS 2010 in the compilation of their trade statistics by the end of the programme period.