Footprints Africa has launched two online platforms that will help to further facilitate ease of intra-Africa trade by bridging the information gap between the vast investment opportunities available on the continent even as stakeholders lament the low level of intra-Africa trade.
Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Footprint to Africa, Osita Oparaugo, said Footprint Africa would bridge the information gap on the many business opportunities in Africa adding that “Marketsquare Africa” is open to partnership. He added that joint venture businesses have far more tendency to grow and be profitable compared to sole ownership businesses.
He also stated that the platforms would boost intra-Africa trade adding that it was open to various sizes of businesses including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which is described as the lowest intra-continent trade.
“The Marketsquare Africa is a platform where businesses connect. As access to finance continues to be a growth-constraint for SMEs in Africa, The Marketsquare Africa is designed to help these SMEs reduce dependency on loans by forming joint venture, partnerships, creating synergies and increasing sales. ‘It is a great tool for local and international entrepreneurs and business managers to find agents, customers, investors and foster relationships that would develop their individual businesses,” he stated.
Speaking further, he stressed that “Africa in 10 minutes is an online television station that showcases major business across Africa as well as provides an in-depth look into Africa’s growing economies; spotlighting several nations rich profile of investment opportunities.”
Also speaking at the event, a former Member, House of Representatives, Honourable Bethel Amadi, blamed the low level of intra-Africa trade on infrastructure deficit adding that visa restriction among African countries also constitute a huge challenge to seamless intra Africa trade.
Amadi, who is a former President, Pan African Parliament, urged African countries to come up with policies that will ease intra-African trade noting that Africa Development Bank (AfDB) records show that Africa has the lowest intra-Continent trade among the continents of the world.