After several months at the drawing board, and deliberations with influential business leaders on the African continent on how best to create opportunity for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and larger organisations to trade effectively across borders, The Africa Marketing Initiative (TAMI) has been born.
TAMI is strongly supported by the South African Chamber UK, the Commonwealth Entrepreneurs Club, and the Global Economic Forum. The organisation consists of an on-the-ground localised South African action unit essential in supporting inbound SME and corporation trade and development. TAMI is made up of passionate and dedicated personnel, focused on helping the global business community trade effectively with South Africa. TAMI teams work closely with local and international SMEs and corporations, and through established networks and support partners delivers excellence in business intelligence and operational support, thus creating effective trade linkages.
TAMI approved Business Responders support local and cross border trade through sharing knowledge and expertise in business administration, market awareness, and requirements in meeting local trade and compliance responsibilities. Foreign organisations considering trading in South Africa require an understanding of local market opportunities, business trading knowledge, best practice expectation, as well as company and employment engagement practices, and reporting responsibilities.
TAMI’s essential service provisions include banking support, professional guidance in aspects such as financial management and adherence, local legal infrastructure and guidance, HR support and staffing engagement, black economic empowerment transformation awareness, operational and logistic integration, sustainability, governance, and the like.
Each appointed TAMI Business Responder is ready to support SMEs and corporations wishing to understand all that is required to champion their endeavours in setting up and advancing business development opportunities in South Africa.
Supporting Africa Trade
It is true that more than 80% of trade in Africa is done with countries outside of Africa. In fact, a mere 18% of trade is done between African countries.
There are many reasons for trade between African countries being so marginalised, which go right to the early days of colonialism. There are, however, many organisations and initiatives helping to unlock commercial value for cross border trade between African countries. The African Union is a significant contributor in this work and exists as an organisation to support Africa as an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent, driven by its own citizens, and representing Africa as a dynamic force in the global economy. As a comparative to the African Union’s effectiveness and possibility, the European Community was formed in 1957 and replaced by the European Union in 1993, and today enjoys 70% trade integration among its members.
The African Union shifted focus from supporting liberation movements in the former African territories under colonialism, as envisaged by the Organisation of African Unity in 1963, to being an organisation spearheading Africa’s development and integration.
TAMI supports the African Union objectives, and in particular, the commercially linked aspects of:
· Achieving greater unity and solidarity between African countries and the people of Africa
· Defending the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence of its member states
· Accelerating the political and socio-economic integration of the continent
· Encouraging international cooperation, taking due account of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
· Promoting peace, security, and stability on the continent
· Promoting democratic principles and institutions, popular participation, and good governance
· Establishing the necessary conditions which enable the continent to play its rightful role in the global economy and in international negotiations
· Promoting sustainable development at economic, social and cultural levels as well as integration of African economies
· Promoting cooperation is all fields of human activity to raise the living standards of African people
· Promoting research in all fields, particularly science and technology
· Eradication of preventable diseases and promotion of good health on the continent
The African Union portfolios and commission include: Peace and Security; Political Affairs; Infrastructure and Energy; Social Affairs; Human Resources, Science and Technology; Trade and Energy; Rural Economy and Agriculture; and Economic Affairs.
TAMI helps link the African Union’s vision and intention to business leaders and entrepreneurs who support these collaborating and unifying ideals, and who want to help in this critical transformation. This support will be through building suitable infrastructure and network channels that encourage effective trade and relationship building within neighbouring countries. TAMI links business executives to an in-country ‘landing port’, where they are able to meet business professionals in each organisation’s functional area, making it possible for valuable information and ‘know how’ to be received and channelled to decision makers. This interaction will result in better choices, and a better understanding of, and adherence to, local trade and operation compliance requirements.
The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement
The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) was adopted and opened for signatures on 21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. Trading under the Agreement commenced on 1 January 2021. AfCFTA covers trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights and competition policy. It represents a major opportunity for African countries to bring 30 million people out of extreme poverty and to raise the incomes of 68 million people who live on less than USD 5.50 per day.
AfCFTA aims to cut red tape and simplify customs procedures and to unlock as much as USD 292 billion in potential income gains on the continent. These reforms will enhance long-term growth and development in African countries. Each country ratified within AfCFTA shares a basket of products and services not subject to cross border import tariffs, making it easier for entrepreneurs to focus on specific demands for products and services.
AfCFTA in effect is the largest free trade area in the world measured by the number of countries participating. The Agreement connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at USD 3.4 trillion and aims to significantly boost wages for skilled and unskilled people, and to increase Africa’s exports by USD 560 billion.
To date 44 out of the 54 signatories to the Agreement have deposited their instruments of AfCFTA ratification, and much progress in this initiative has already been achieved. The Agreement, when fully implemented, will reduce tariffs among member countries, cover policy areas of trade facilitation and services, as well as regulate measures such as sanitary standards and technical barriers to trade. Thus, AfCFTA will reshape markets and economies across the African continent, and significantly increase output in services, manufacturing, and natural resource sectors.
TAMI recognises that creating a single, continent-wide market for goods and services, and supporting business and investment aspects will reshape the African economy and support a huge step forward for the Continent. This advancement in Africa’s commercial development will demonstrate to the world that Africa is emerging as a leader in global trade and resourcing.
TAMI provides holistic business integration support services to international organisations wishing to trade in South Africa and is a powerful source of contact for local South African organisations wishing to gain knowledge, understanding and resourcing. TAMI website and facility links international and local business knowledge seekers directly with professional service providers, allowing for a seamless introduction to understand all that is required to trade effectively and compliantly in South Africa.
Try us. We are a new concept in supporting the work of the African Union and the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, with a mission to help ensure cross border transactions are easier and more effective, and that they support the growth and development of organisations trading and endeavouring to trade on the African Continent.
TAMI’s local South Africa services suppliers include:
DRG - HR administration and compliance; CFO Centre – financial/accounting; Standard Bank – banking services; Stimela Group – Black economic empowerment and transformational strategy; Earth-Energy – sustainability; Business Sense – marketing and communications; Business Insights – operations and logistics; Business Fit SA – coaching and mentoring; Cox Yeats – legal service; Pro Appointments – recruitment; Monique Labat – B2B matchmaking and market linkages; Constancon currencies – Forex trading; Genius Boards – governance practices.