Economy experts have pointed manufacturing as central to a sustainable economy in Africa, According to World Bank Economist Hinh Dinh: “It is the responsibility of African governments to bring foreign direct investment (FDI) to manufacturing to create jobs. The history of economic development is such that any country would need to start producing basic household goods. Over time they moved to higher value goods. No country in the world has developed without producing light manufacturing. And no country can skip it.”
The African Government diversifying its economy has been timely in a period like this. Growth in manufacturing has been rapid at a pace of almost 18% p.a accounting for 9% of GDP during 2013 compared 2.5% as thought prior to rebasing. In spite of improvements, the obvious difficulties facing manufacturing in Africa still looms around poor patronage has been a big issue with locally made products in Africa, During 2013, Africa imported US$240bn worth of manufactured goods compared to almost US$66bn worth of manufactured exports. the continent imported US$18.7trn worth of merchandise goods during 2013 compared to just US$6trn at the turn of the century.
What this tells us is the high patronage of imported goods as compared to locally produced ones. Of course people might argue poor quality as the reason for this preference, but that’s a misconception, which should be reduced in order to boost manufacturing in Africa. The need to get patronage for goods produced locally birthed the cokodeal.com an online marketplace for manufacturers and exporters in Africa. To connect locally produced goods to emerging markets and get more customers, thereby promoting Africa’s local content. Trade would play a big part for the transformation for the African manufacturing sect.
According to the CEO of cokodeal.com, Mr Mike Dola expressed success stories of gaining new markets for local manufacturers, hereby increasing demand for businesses on cokodeal.com platform, which serves as the hub for local manufacturers in Africa to display their products thereby meeting more customers within and outside Africa. With free trade zone and government policy in support of trade in African region, there is a need for seamless intra-Africa trade that cokodeal.com aims to bridge. Africa is rich in raw materials and resources necessary for manufacturing, also blessed with tremendous human resources who are ready to work. When these manufacturers produce, they need to make sales, they need patronage, and with platforms like cokodeal.com, local manufacturers have the right tool to connect to new markets.
Cokodeal online marketplace is built such that it promotes Africa’s local content globally. It has a multiplatform where one can promote locally produced goods across several countries within the platform. Manufacturers can easily create and manage their online store and it is very cost effective and easy to promote products across several cokodeal country platforms.
Whatever ever phase Africa is today is as a result of Africa realising it has to look within to maintain improvement and stability in its economy. Manufacturing should be key to this transformation, however, when these manufacturers are empowered, what happens to getting customers for their products, what happens to easy sourcing of these produce by business people and customers? These days people can be in the comfort of their rooms and place order online to be delivered to their doorstep, business practice is evolving, so should the approach of manufacturers in Africa.
By embracing technology, manufacturers can connect to new markets, which make it easier for businesses in different African countries to connect and trade. The business man can place orders, discuss shipment agreement and have products shipped to their country even without leaving his country. The world today is operating automated business process, and we have to be a part of it, to improve our trade activities and ultimately make sourcing local raw materials for manufacturing and export easy.