International trade is important for Africa’s economic growth and development, but it also has many challenges and uncertainties. How can businesses deal with them and do well in this changing environment? Here are three effective methods:
The 4IR is the merging of physical, digital, and biological systems that changes technology, industries, and society. The 4IR has many benefits for businesses, such as better productivity, efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction. However, it also needs businesses to adapt to new skills, business models, and regulations. Businesses need to accept the 4IR and invest in digital transformation, innovation, and skills development. They also need to work with other stakeholders to create a supportive environment for the 4IR.
The AfCFTA is one of the most ambitious trade agreements in the world, covering a market of over 1.3 billion people and a GDP of over $2.6 trillion. The AfCFTA aims to remove tariffs on 90% of goods, lower non-tariff barriers, ease movement of people and capital, and boost cooperation on trade-related issues. The AfCFTA has many opportunities for businesses to reach new markets, diversify their products and services, lower their costs, and improve their competitiveness. However, it also needs businesses to follow the rules and standards of the AfCFTA and to solve the challenges of infrastructure, logistics, quality control, and dispute resolution. Businesses need to understand the AfCFTA and adjust their strategies and operations to its goals.
International trade is always changing due to various factors, such as technological innovation, consumer demand, environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and political stability. Businesses need to learn and adapt continuously to these changes. They need to watch the trends and developments in their markets and sectors, gather and analyse data and feedback from their customers and partners, measure their performance and impact, and change their plans and actions accordingly. They also need to create a culture of learning and adaptation within their organizations.
International trade is a powerful driver of economic growth and development in Africa. By using these three effective methods of adapting to the 4IR, leveraging the AfCFTA, and learning and adapting continuously, businesses can increase their innovation and competitiveness in international trade.
Author: Our author is an OWIT Zimbabwe OWIT member