Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|August 31, 2022|3 Minutes|In Billionaire Tomorrow

Billionaire Tomorrow

Like hungry lions attacking a giraffe.

In the week Ghana unveiled a new AfCFTA digital hub in Accra- to support start-ups and promote trade across Africa – a leading business voice on the continent believes entrepreneurs should rise like lions in the hunt for business.

South African investor and entrepreneur Themba Baloyi – a man who loves a proverb – says  African entrepreneurs should think like a pride of lions trying to attack a giraffe.

“If you look at a giraffe – a giraffe is tall and the giraffe has a healthy kick. Now if lions are going to attack a giraffe, they don’t go scattered confused; they are patient, number one, one thing that we lack. They are very patient, they take their time, they look at that giraffe, they study that giraffe,” he says.

“No matter how hungry you are, to break through and make big business acquisitions in Africa- patience is the key.”

It has been two years since the launch of the AfCFTA. It promises a boom in trade, with all the wealth and jobs that come with it, by slowly removing tariff barriers to ease the movement of goods across the continent.

It is probably fair to say that most African entrepreneurs have heard of the AfCFTA – but that is probably about it. Few can say that the new trading bloc has helped them at all with the implementation moving slowly.

“I do think there is a bit of scepticism and I do understand why. Different jurisdictions have got different nuances, but like lions we need to be patient and we need to hunt in packs. We shouldn’t be doing this thing on our own thinking we have got all the answers, “ says Baloyi.

What about companies who have tried and failed to take advantage of the new trading protocols ?

“One bitten, twice shy, I understand that, but there are people with good will, there are people willing to partner. I do have a difficulty with people who do think they can go it alone.” he says.

“There is an old African proverb that says if you want to go far you go with someone, if you want to go fast you go alone.”

Ghana, which hosts the AfCFTA secretariat in Accra, favours going far with people with its new digital platform aimed at promoting e-commerce and digital trading.

The hub aims to speed up connections across the continent as well as fight online crime and  fraud.

All part of preparing the ground for packs of hungry lions.