9th November, 2022
At the just concluded Africa Fintech Summit held in Cape Town, South Africa, Adewale Opaleye, the founder and group chief executive officer of Alerzo posited that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will forge collaborations among e-commerce platforms on the continent and accelerate the continent‘s economic growth.
He made the disclosure during a panel discussion titled “Fintech’s Role in eCommerce, Trade, & Commodities under AfCFTA.” Opaleye argued that for AfCFTA to work, certain structural trade barriers must be reviewed.
“The trade pact is indeed good for Nigeria‘s economy and that of Africa. For it to work, certain structural trade barriers must be reviewed. We have to review the cross border tariffs so that exportation of commodities from one African country to another becomes seamless and more attractive. The right trade agreements and right tariffs – both cross border tariffs and taxational cross borders – will effortlessly forge collaborations among e-commerce players in Africa,” he added.
Explaining how Alerzo is leading the charge among its peers by facilitating easy trade for micro businesses in Nigeria, majority of whom are informal retailers, Opaleye said: “we‘re Nigeria‘s leading business-to-business e-commerce platform serving micro businesses and informal retailers in Nigeria‘s retail sector by using technology to solve most of the perennial problems associated with informal retail in Nigeria. We provide a digital platform for informal retailers to order goods and get them delivered for free between 3 – 4 hours in some cities, and within 24 hours in others.”
“I founded Alerzo Nigeria to address most of the challenges that face informal retailers in Nigeria. I am happy that, in three years of operations, Alerzo has deployed technology in addressing the challenges of the informal retailers who are on our platform.
As a tech-driven B2B e-commerce platform, Alerzo provides warehousing and fulfilment solutions to suppliers while also delivering ordered goods at free cost to retailers. Alerzo has been providing free delivery services to retailers for over two years. More than 400 vehicles and 40 warehouses are owned by individual B2B e-commerce firms in Nigeria through which we serve thousands of retailers on our respective platforms,” Opaleye disclosed.
The scope of AfCFTA adequately made provisions for agreement on trade in goods, services, investment, and rules and procedures on dispute settlement, including a range of provisions to facilitate trade, reduce transaction costs, provide exceptions, flexibilities and safeguards for vulnerable groups and countries in challenging circumstances. The pact is anchored on a mission: to create one African market.
It will be recalled that in July 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the trade agreement during the African Union (AU) summit which was held in Niger Republic. Over 52 African countries have since signed the pact.