South African companies hoping to do business in Africa can look to the government for assistance. The government has a plan to give support to small businesses and emerging entrepeneurs.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government has introduced a number of inteventions to help South Africans take part in the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“We want to ensure that our firms, entrepreneurs, small enterprises and workers benefit from the trading opportunities that will arise as the AfCFTA commences to operate."
The aim is to give priority to firms that are youth-led, black owned and led by women.
The National Exporter Development Programme currently gives support to exporters in an effort to grow the South African export market over time.
South Africa is the fifth largest source of foreign direct investment on the African continent.
Between 2014 and 2018, South African firms managed to invested more than R160 billion in different parts of the African continent.
The President believes that even though more still needs to be done, Africans have the ability to invest towards sustainable economic growth.
“Just as colonial powers extracted the continent’s wealth for their own benefit, enrichment, upliftment and development, today African economies participate in the global economy primarily as a source of minerals and commodities, while the production of higher and value-added manufactured products takes place elsewhere.”
He hopes the government's interventions will help break the patterns created by colonial powers.
“We are determined to build strong and inclusive economies through industrialisation and the beneficiation of the minerals and commodities that are extracted from the African soil in our countries.”
The African Continental Free Trade Area will create a diverse economy that will open the African market.
“We expect that in the new year, 2021, preferential trade in Africa will begin with significant product coverage and will be further expanded over the coming years." he said.