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INTERNATIONAL TRADE

African marketer discusses AfCFTA imperatives with Washington audience

By our News Team | 2023

Bottlenecks thwart business growth and challenge marketers due to delays or elevated costs in product delivery, summit delegates hear.

African marketer and young leader, Tarisai Moffat, has just returned from the United States, where she participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program at Jackson State University.

 

This programme, part of an initiative by the US government, aims to foster international relationships and enhance skills.

International Trade

Marketer Tarisai Moffat at the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where she discussed the AfCFTA. Photo credit: T. Moffat

Moffat, the owner of Gateway Synergy marketing agency in South Africa, also delivered an Ignite Talk at the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit 2023 in Washington DC.

 

This emphasised the importance of Mandela Washington young leaders’ involvement in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) to promote a strong African economy with super-responsive trade operations.

 

She highlighted the significance of AfCTA as a beacon of hope for transforming the continent’s economy by reducing or eliminating restrictive trade laws and transportation issues. These were hindering Africa’s potential for growth and success.

 

However, Moffat emphasised that waiting until 2063 (AfCFTA’s ‘Agenda 2063’ is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years.) is not an option, and tangible change must be implemented now for the betterment of future generations.

 

A fragmented trade landscape

 

“Trading from Ethiopia to Nigeria, for instance, involves traversing multiple borders laden with customs duties, taxes, licenses and certificates. The ensuing fragmented trade landscape inflates goods’ costs, rendering them unaffordable for consumers and businesses alike,” Moffat explained.

 

She noted that a seemingly reasonable US$150,000 invoice could incur an additional US$100,000 in transportation costs, significantly exceeding market norms. These bottlenecks thwart business growth and challenge marketers who painstakingly study consumer preferences, only to encounter delays or elevated costs in product delivery.

 

In her Washington DC presentation, Moffat vividly depicted these challenges, citing a Kenyan battery consignment under the AfCTA that took six weeks to reach its destination due to a complex shipping route. 

 

As the marketing landscape evolves rapidly, with online deliveries setting new expectations of swift turnaround, these trade hindrances were growing more pronounced and hampering market growth. 

 

“This underscores the interdependence of streamlined trade, vibrant economies, and successful marketing strategies,” Moffat said.

Marketers, representing both consumers and traders, share the responsibility of advocating and marketing the merits of free trade, she believes.

 

Moffat’s Ignite Talk can be viewed on YouTube here.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
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