• Kees Kibinda

Waystocap: A Solution Towards Increasing Inter-Trade Amongst African Borders

Updated: Feb 20, 2019

Inter-trade amongst African states stands at a low of 12% per annum. The governments of the 55 States are slow to stimulate the growth of this despite the fact that there are 6 trade blocks in place on the continent. A startup called Waystocap is stepping in to help increase inter-trade with its business to business platform

A continent-wide trend is that we produce what we do not consume, and we consume what we do not produce. There are currently six trade blocks on the continent and yet inter-trade stands at a mere 12% per annum. The trade blocks are:

1. The Southern African Development Community (SADC); 2. The Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern African States (PTA) which was later replaced by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); 3. The East African Community (EAC); 4. The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) which is one of the oldest trade blocks in African and its ally, the Common Monetary Area (CMA); 5. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and: 6. The Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa (UDEAC) which was later replaced by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC).

The low inter-trade is in stark contrast to what goes on in other continents such as North America and Western Europe where inter-trade stands at 40% and 60% per annum respectively. Add in the fact that there are quite a few barriers to trade for African countries to other continents; it is a rather head scratching moment as to why inter-trade amongst African countries is so low.

Infrastructure is one such problem. But that is a whole different topic altogether. In comes a Moroccan startup company called Waystocap. This company is a business to business marketplace for businesses in Africa to buy and sell products. The company is co-founded by Anis Adbdeddine, Aziz Jaouhari Tissafi, Mehdi Daoui and Niama el Bassuni. The platform was set up in 2014.

The platform is one of the very first startups from the region to have joined and graduated from Y-Combinator. In 2017 they raised a seed investment of 3 million USD from Y-Combinator and different other international and region investors including Battery Ventures, Soma Capital, Palm Drive Capital, AMINO Capital and Endure Capital.

Having started only 5 years ago, the company now has more than 20 employees working from its 2 offices in Casablanca, Morocco and Cotonou, Benin. Waystocap is the first online business to business market place on the African continent targeting African importers and exporters.

By revolutionising the way merchandise trading is done on the continent; the company is helping Africa develop. The idea was thought up by Niama and she is also the CEO of this wonderful startup company. For any African companies wishing to find ways of trading with other African companies, I suggest you look at this platform and see what opportunities you can find.

21 views0 comments