The founder and chief executive officer of Nigeria’s leading smart card manufacturing company and a digital solution provider, SecureID Limited, Kofo Akinkugbe, said despite a number of similar products and services that would be offered in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, the market competition is likely to be healthy.
For businesses to remain competitive in the market, Akinkugbe said: “we need to produce things at global best standards so that African consumers don’t need to go out of the continent to import goods and services.”
“I believe the AfCFTA is going to be a healthy competition,” she emphatically told Daily Commerce in an interview in Lagos.
Akinkugbe said: “The AfCFTA initiative is a great effort and what is even more commendable is that African countries have achieved it within a short time.”
Advising the AfCFTA member states on what they need to do, she said Nigerian government and all other African countries have to create a good business environment for enterprises to thrive.
“One of the ways the government can help enterprises is by creating a supportive business environment by way of building infrastructure,” she said.
For products and services to attract significant patronage beyond their countries of origin, Akinkugbe said: “Each of the AfCFTA member countries should try and patronise their indeginous products and services. This would enable the local companies to build a reputation for producing quality products and excellent services at home.
“A company that is reputable at home would easily attract patronage when it enters another country’s market,” she said.
Akinkugbe, a former banker, said while challenges ahead of the AfCFTA implementation are enormous, the struggle for economic and trade liberalisation of Africa are worthwhile.