The battle for trade, business in Africa

Opportunities beckon across continent but there is no 'one size fits all' approach

The Djibouti International Free Trade Zone was launched in July this year. Djibouti is one of the African countries that several foreign countries are courting. Experts say there is no "one size fits all" approach to doing business with Africa and fo
The Djibouti International Free Trade Zone was launched in July this year. Djibouti is one of the African countries that several foreign countries are courting. Experts say there is no "one size fits all" approach to doing business with Africa and foreign countries face fluctuating dynamics when seeking to find a foothold on the continent.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

There is an African proverb which says that "you must attend to your business with the vendor in the market and not to the noise of the market".

If the 54 sovereign countries that form the nucleus of the African continent had paid heed to these words, then they could have capitalised on the greatest economic opportunity that continuously presents itself on the continent, which was to opt for the process of intra-Africa trade.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2018, with the headline 'The battle for trade, business in Africa'. Subscribe