At the border post—little more than a gas station and a KFC—he sits in a line for two to three days, in temperatures reaching 104F, waiting for his documents to be processed.
That’s only the start of a journey Nsukuzimbi makes maybe twice a month. Driving 550 miles farther north gets him to the Chirundu border post on the Zambian frontier. There, starting at a bridge across the Zambezi River, trucks snake back miles into the bush. “There’s no water, there’s no toilets, there are lions,” says the 40-year-old Zimbabwean. He leans out of the Freightliner’s cab over the hot asphalt, wearing a white T-shirt and a weary expression. “It’s terrible.”
By the time he gets his load of tiny plastic beads—the kind used in many manufacturing processes—to a factory on the outskirts of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, he’s been on the road for as many as 10 days to traverse just 1,000 miles. Nsukuzimbi’s trials are typical of truck drivers across Africa, where border bureaucracy, corrupt officials seeking bribes, and a myriad of regulations that vary from country to country have stymied attempts to boost intra-African trade.
The continent’s leaders say they’re acting to change all that. Fifty-three of its 54 nations have signed up to join the African Continental Free Trade Area; only Eritrea, which rivals North Korea in its isolation from the outside world, hasn’t. The African Union-led agreement is designed to establish the world’s biggest free-trade zone by area, encompassing a combined economy of $2.5 trillion and a market of 1.2 billion people. Agreed in May 2019, the pact is meant to take effect in July and be fully operational by 2030. “The AfCFTA,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his Oct. 7 weekly letter to the nation, “will be a game-changer, both for South Africa and the rest of the continent.”
It has to be if African economies are ever going to achieve their potential. Africa lags behind other regions in terms of internal trade, with intracontinental commerce accounting for only 15% of total trade, compared with 58% in Asia and more than 70% in Europe. As a result, supermarket shelves in cities such as Luanda, Angola, and Abidjan, Ivory Coast, are lined with goods imported from the countries that once colonized them, Portugal and France.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
If You Want to Know What Stock Is Set To Skyrocket, There Are Options
WHAT DO NIKE INC., Raven Industries, and Fortinet Inc. have in common? They exemplify the predictive capacities the options market offers: Recent stock price spikes were preceded by certain telltale signs in the options market, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Use the terminal to generate ideas for enhancing your portfolio and profit from ever-changing option trading trends.
How Are You Doing? AID Provides the Answers
“HOW’M I DOING?” That’s a question asset managers, sales professionals, and all of us, for that matter, ask daily.
Volatile Markets Reveal Interesting Credit Opportunities in Energy
OIL ROSE ALMOST 50% from the end of October 2020 through mid-January.
Colonies of Retail-Investor ‘Ants' March On Korea's Stock Market
IN LATE JULY, 70-year-old Kim Kyung-rok began frantically sifting through his long-dormant stock brokerage account.
Examine How Market Upheaval Is Affecting Company Results
The coronavirus pandemic sent huge waves of volatility through markets in 2020. How did that affect the financial results of companies that interest you?
Get the Insider Scoop at Newly Public Health-Care Companies
Last year was a good year for at least one thing: initial public offerings in the U.S. With the frenzy of listings of special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, IPOs raised a total of $154 billion in 2020. That total was by far the largest of the past 10 years, and more than double the total from 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“I've Had to Think Differently”
IN SEPTEMBER, Jane Fraser shattered the financial industry’s ultimate glass ceiling when she was named the next chief executive officer of Citigroup Inc., one of the world’s three most important banks.
Yoyo Chang turned a hunch born in an English high school cafeteria into a next-generation payments app backed by serious, well-heeled investors
The Fintech Revolution Is Finally Here— And So Are the Regulators
SPEAKING IN OCTOBER to his banking brethren at the world’s biggest payments confab—the annual Sibos conference— Jamie Dimon didn’t mince words.
China’s entry into the WTO upended global manufacturing. Now it’s poised to disrupt the financial system— and the consequences could be just as dramatic and surprising