The Waiting Game: A Challenge to Intra-African Trade

Nice to have some hard data attached to this topic. Unbelievable that 60-70% of data has to be inputed more than once at customs posts. I remember all the fanfare surrounding Nepad when Mbeki was in power and the promise of free trade and monetary union. Let’s hope the TFTA has more substance to it.

Nations & States

A few years ago, I was in southern Zambia, near the border with Zimbabwe. Fascinated as I am by arbitrary things like national borders, I asked my guide if one could set foot in Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s realm without a visa. “Yes,” he replied, there is a way: the Victoria Falls bridge, which spans the gorge of the Zambezi just downstream of the waterfall whose name it bears. The Zimbabwean border post is around half a mile from the bridge’s end, so one can step briefly into the country without ever crossing paths with officialdom.

This is how I found myself on an impressive turn-of-the-century steel arch bridge, 130 meters from the roaring waters below. I crossed the border, an invisible line cutting the bridge in half, and walked briefly on Zimbabwe’s soil. It was almost anticlimactically easy.

The same could not be said for the experience of dozens…

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