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Enhancing Intra-African Trade: MSC’s Commitment and Initiatives at the Africa CEO Forum

MSC played a pivotal role in the 11th edition of the Africa CEO Forum, a significant event held in Kigali, Rwanda on 16-17 May 2024. The forum, themed ‘At The Table or on The Menu: A Critical Moment to Shaping The Future of Africa’, brought together influential leaders, including presidents, business leaders, CEOs, investors, and government officials, to address crucial economic issues facing the continent.

Nicolas Sartini, Senior Vice President of Business Development at MSC, represented the company’s senior leadership team. He participated in an important panel discussing ‘AfCFTA: Scaling Intra-African Trade in a Decisive Decade’, where he emphasised MSC’s unwavering commitment to bolstering Africa’s economic landscape through substantial investments.

Mr Sartini highlighted MSC’s robust presence across Africa, with operations in over 45 countries and facilitating over 80 weekly port calls at 62 different ports. This extensive network not only connects Africa to the globe but also fortifies intra-continental trade through strategic investments in port terminals located in Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Namibia.

Despite the progress in intra-African trade, challenges persist, notably in the areas of transport logistics, tariff regulations, and skilled workforce development. Mr Sartini shared that intra-regional exports currently account for only 18% of total exports—a stark contrast to regions like Europe and the Asia Pacific, where intra-regional figures stand at 71% and 55%, respectively. This disparity underscores the tremendous growth potential for intra-African trade, which could be unlocked by addressing critical logistical and regulatory bottlenecks.

At the forum, Mr. Sartini expressed optimism about overcoming these challenges, advocating for enhanced cooperation and more robust infrastructure to facilitate the movement of trade-ready goods across the continent. He called for accelerated efforts to improve transport links and streamline tariff structures to boost intra-African trade efficiency.

During the Africa CEO Forum, MSC also announced the launch of our new office in Kigali. This strategic expansion is a testament to MSC’s long-term commitment to fostering economic growth and enhancing the trade capabilities of the region. The new Kigali office will serve as a key hub for MSC’s operations in East Africa, ensuring greater responsiveness to local market needs and strengthening our service offerings across the continent. This new establishment aligns with MSC’s enduring strategy to deepen our presence in all African markets and support the ongoing development of more robust trade networks within and beyond Africa.

MSC’s active participation at the Africa CEO Forum reflects our commitment to engaging with key stakeholders and contributing to meaningful discussions that aim to shape a prosperous future for Africa. Through continued investment and collaboration, MSC remains dedicated to enhancing the supply chains and economic integration essential for Africa’s growth and global trade competitiveness.

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