Despite global travel restrictions and the lower proportion of Covid-19 vaccine doses, corporates in Africa are raising capital to support trading activities. The highest proportion of these requests on the Orbitt platform originated from companies either headquartered or with main operations in West Africa (50%) and East Africa (23%).
East African corporates recorded a higher proportion of intra-African sales, as well as imports and exports to and from Asia. This can be attributed to the strong trade relationships and integration of the region with the East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and the region’s proximity and historical ties to Asian countries such as India and China.
East Africa recorded a larger proportion of diversified trading activities. The importation of equipment and associated services, exportation of floral goods and textiles and importation of seeds, fertilisers, and pharmaceuticals are among the top requests recorded by corporates on the Orbitt platform.
West Africa recorded a significantly higher proportion of agricultural commodities being traded – 53% when compared with 39% in East Africa, including cashew, cocoa and edible oils. West Africa also recorded a higher proportion of energy commodities traded – 24% compared to 11% in East Africa, mostly crude oil, gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas.
There has also been an increase in funding requests from local financial institutions for onward lending and supporting continued growth in their respective regions.
The Orbitt Perspective
Although there are key differences in the types of commodities being traded and the directional flow of goods, one main similarity is the request for working capital to scale up local operations. Local financial institutions are best placed to meet this need, and are seeking additional support to do so.
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