Startup pitches with promises to provide various services to Africans — across different sectors — are commonplace now. And in trying to sweet-talk investors, what’s not taken into context or often disregarded is that Africa is a fragmented $3 trillion market. The continent is also home to more than 1.2 billion people with below-average disposable income, most living in landlocked nations.
It’s one of the few explanations for why intra-continental trade has proven difficult for years. But in 2019, various policymakers across different parts of the continent signed the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement — a framework for Africa to be a single market for trade and services — to make intra-trade less painful (side note: the agreement is yet to make any significant impact.)