Many do not think that Africa is a continent worth exporting from. Apart from the mineral wealth of the continent and a few food crops, very little is exported from the continent. Despite this, there is a wealth of products, and services that have value that can be exported. Africa is a net importer, and that leaves it at a disadvantage to much of the world. If it wants to compete with the power of China, America and Europe, it must tap into the market outside of the continent.
Africa contains 30% of the worlds known reserves of minerals and has the largest cobalt, diamond, platinum and uranium reserves in the world. But it is not only these resources that have value to the rest of the world. The diverse crafts and cultures of the continent are gaining popularity oversees but how do they access this market?
Cokodeal is an online market place with the vision to elevate the standard of living for Africans through trade and a mission to connect intra Africa trade to global market and improve the wellbeing of Africans. The founders were motivated by a wish to see a continent that is not at the mercy of foreign aid and is the convergent point of global trade.
Even with all of the vast resources across the continent, over half of trade in Africa is in the informal sector, according to the Chatham House UK, in 2015. To break into that sector and draw the trade out of the informal sector is extremely important for the future development of the continent. In order to make that a reality the platform offers farmers, artisans and manufacturers to be able to sell their products at wholesale. All goods that are being sold must be made in Africa, but the types of products are vast, including textiles, leather, minerals and artisan crafts.
Here is how it works:
Current volume of business: major trading presently in Nigeria, with over 400 merchants from Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. Cocodeal aims to penetrate major commerce areas in Africa, as we already have on-going partnerships. Most goods sourced on the platform are food & Agricultural products, textile and leather works.
Technical Features: cokodeal.com is a multi-platform that hosts different African currencies, with different country homepages. It is designed to have a custom homepage for each country. All goods can be accessed from any country using its local currency with a real time converter.
Users can set up easy to use self managed store fronts in order to connect directly with the customer. Buyers can contact the sellers through the platform and Cokodeal even offer logistical support.
Cokodeal market target is to coordinate the informal trade and exports and to manage most of the SME businesses digital advertisement spending.
Markets: Over half of Trade in Africa is in the informal sector, as stated that unrecorded or informal activity could account for as much as 64 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP according to a research by Chatham house UK 2015) titled: Nigeria’s Booming Borders. The Drivers and Consequences of Unrecorded Trade
While there is still much progress to be made for the African continent to become a powerhouse, entrepreneurial endeavours like cokodeal.com encourage local production and are boosting intra-Africa trade. It is proof that positive change is happening for African nations to become global trading partners though Africans and their locally produced goods.
Thank you to Michael (@Cokodeal) for preparing this guest blog about Cokodeal and the possibilities of taking Africa out of the informal market and further connecting it to the rest of the world. E-commerce is taking off in Africa, and with more platforms like these and those that we mentioned here and here, Africa will become closer and closer the global market place. There are some incredible artisans all over the continent that deserve to have their wears spread across the globe. We intend to do a feature on some of out favourites in the next few weeks.
If you would like to be a guest blogger, or have a comment please get in contact with us on Twitter @InventiveAfrica or email, and please also share the blog with your network on Twitter and Facebook.