TradeMark Africa and Global Partners Launch Innovative Digital Trade Infrastructure Team

In an era where global trade dynamics are rapidly transforming, TradeMark Africa (TMA) has positioned itself at the forefront of this evolution. Established with the noble aim of enhancing intra-African trade and amplifying Africa’s presence in the global marketplace, TMA’s innovative approach seeks not only to foster economic growth but also to address the nuanced challenges of modern trade.

The genesis of TMA’s latest groundbreaking initiative can be traced back to the World Trade Organisation MC10 forum in Nairobi, 2015, where the concept of the Trade Logistics Information Pipeline (TLIP) was first introduced. This visionary idea promised to revolutionize international trade by leveraging distributed ledger technology to overcome the longstanding hurdles of paperwork, access to information, and slow approval processes.

In a significant leap forward, TMA, in partnership with the IOTA Foundation, has actualized the TLIP. Through a generous funding of $4 million by TMA, the IOTA Foundation developed a system that epitomizes transparency and security in the electronic exchange of trade information. The TLIP’s success lies in its ability to significantly reduce trade costs by 80% and slash cross-border processing times from a staggering 25 days to a mere single day.

The transformative impact of TLIP extends beyond mere efficiency gains. It heralds a new era of predictability and reduced administrative burdens for traders navigating customs facilities across borders. The system’s proven capability to handle diverse trade flows across various scenarios underscores its scalability and flexibility, making it a beacon of innovation in the realm of international trade.

This success story reached a new chapter at the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, where TMA unveiled a strategic alliance with global heavyweights including the World Economic Forum, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, the Institute of Export and International Trade, and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation. This partnership aims to establish a neutral governance framework for TLIP, fostering an ecosystem where innovation flourishes and trade barriers are dismantled.

David Beer, CEO of TradeMark Africa, eloquently articulates the ethos driving this collaboration, emphasizing the collective commitment to sustainable and inclusive trade. The partnership’s mission is to harness emerging technologies and collaborative efforts to redefine the landscape of global trade facilitation.

The coalition’s roadmap features the continued deployment of Proof of Concepts across Africa and Europe, with aspirations to onboard additional stakeholders. This concerted effort promises to sculpt policies and frameworks that accommodate the needs of all entities in the global trade arena, thereby catalyzing a more equitable and efficient trading ecosystem.

Dominik Schiener, of the IOTA Foundation, and other leaders echo the sentiment of transformation and inclusivity. They highlight the pivotal role of technology in surmounting trade frictions and envision a future where digital infrastructure fosters a sustainable and accessible global trade environment.

The TLIP initiative is more than a technological breakthrough; it is a testament to the power of collaboration in reimagining trade for the 21st century. By integrating blockchain technology to ensure data integrity and security, TLIP enhances the competitiveness of East African exports and paves the way for a more transparent, efficient, and competitive global trade system.

TradeMark Africa’s journey from an East African focus to a pan-African vision reflects its commitment to driving continental-wide trade gains. The organization’s efforts to reduce trade costs and times, coupled with its embrace of digital innovations, exemplify a forward-thinking approach to trade facilitation that promises to reshape not only African but global trade dynamics for the better.

The partnership forged by TMA and its global allies represents a significant milestone in the quest for a more inclusive and efficient international trade system. By championing innovation, collaboration, and sustainability, this alliance is poised to deliver transformative impacts that will benefit societies worldwide, marking a new chapter in the story of global trade.