Is your organization geared towards an African eCommerce growth? Africa is home to 54 countries and 1.25 billion people.
Now, imagine the African country you’re in right now and then imagine being able to sell to another country as if it was just another city you are in right now. This is the type of inclusion eCommerce will provide to businesses in African countries if the African Continental Free Trade Agreement goes into effect.
What is this African Continental Free Trade Agreement?
Although the internet penetration of Africa is still 10 to 15 years behind North America and Europe, internet penetration is increasing at a faster rate in Africa. It has increased from 13.5% in 2011 to 36% in 2019.
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The African Continental Free Trade Agreement is for a planned free trade area with the goal of creating a single market followed by free movement and a single-currency union. It will be the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization. The agreement was signed by 49 of the 55 African Union nations (Nigeria! Those motherfuckers, did not sign).
This was first signed in Kigali, Rwanda on 21 March 2018, but it then needed to be ratified by 22 countries for the agreement to enter into force and the African Continental Free Trade Area to become effective and was ratified by 22 countries, just last month in April 2019. We should be getting the first draft of the African free trade agreement plan by January 2020.
Although the internet penetration of Africa is still 10 to 15 years behind North America and Europe, internet penetration is increasing at a faster rate in Africa. It has increased from 13.5% in 2011 to 36% in 2019. That is over two and a half times more Africans using the internet in just eight years.
Smartphones are the number one method to get access to the internet for Africans. In Africa, Smartphones provide ways for customers to get access to their money and carry out transactions through Mobile Payment solutions such as Mpesa. Mobile payment solutions have been a contributing factor for eCommerce growth in Africa because it provides an easier way to pay and accept payments without access to banks. For eCommerce, new ways of accepting payments open up opportunities.
So, with the current political and digital transformation taking place in Africa; What is your organisation doing to adapt?
Who will be Africa's first eCommerce billionaire? eCommerce has the potential to create jobs, break barriers and unite Africa because it offers opportunities for inclusion of all Africans and it will champion the free movement of goods and services. Africa is in a good space because it is full of entrepreneurs and with the low barrier to start, eCommerce is exactly what Africa needs to jump-start small businesses.