The author focuses on the impact of economic diplomacy on exports among African states. He tests whether there is evidence of a trade-off or complementary interaction between regional integration and commercial diplomacy in trade facilitation. He compares the effects of these two instruments of economic diplomacy on bilateral trade by employing a gravity model for 45 African states over the period 1980–2005. The results show that bilateral diplomatic exchange is a relatively more significant determinant of bilateral exports among African states compared to regional integration. He also finds a nuanced interaction between these two instruments of economic diplomacy: the trade-stimulating effect of diplomatic exchange is less pronounced among African countries that are already shared membership of a regional bloc. Generally, this could mean that there exists a trade-off between regional integration and commercial diplomacy in facilitating exports or a lack of complementarity between these two instruments of economic diplomacy.