A report from Zambaga Rufai SAMINU, Journalists for Tourism Advocacy currently in Rabat, Morocco
The President of the Association of Moroccan Exporters (ASMEX), Hassan Sentissel El Idrissi, has identified three major obstacles currently hampering export and import trade in Africa.
He said collaborations in Africa that relate directly to export and import businesses within the continent, have always struggled unjustifiably because of these challenges.
These include the many years of a language barrier between French-speaking African countries and English speaking countries.
He was interacting with members of the Journalists for Tourism Advocacy (JTA), a delegation from Ghana for tourism reporting currently in Morocco.
He observed that the deterring language barrier in the region has not only created an unwarranted inconvenience among traders but has placed serious impediments on the way of exporters and importers along the value chain of marketing of products and services.
Another obstacle, he said that confronts exporters and importers in the continent, is the poor transport sector required to handle goods and services that are being exported or imported from one country to another within the continent.
The last, but not the least challenge, he observed, has been the payment of disturbing custom duties, nuisance taxes and levies that turn to hurt exporters and importers doing business directly and indirectly at cross borders.
He said while identifying these challenges, he also believes strongly that the blame game would not address them except the stakeholders’ determination to apply pragmatic solutions.
He added that the challenges mentioned above have therefore become a shared responsibility for all Africans especially those in the business circle.
Again, he indicated that despite all the aforementioned challenges, the continent could still pull the trigger in addressing all these problems by harnessing individual strengths and potentials to improve the export and import of products in the region.
“We have to accelerate our progress in order to legitimize our trade relations. We have to multiply our meetings”, he submitted.
The President of the Association of Moroccan Exporters said the primary responsibility of countries is to build networks and create a harmonious atmosphere for other countries through a win-win situation.
He called for a realistic analysis of the situation while projecting into the futuristic vision of ASMEX in playing an important role to shape the technical knowledge of organizations involved in export and import in Africa.
In doing all these, he acknowledged the significant role ASMEX, established in 1982, with regional branches across fourteen (14) regions of Morocco, could play to drive change in the continent.