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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Jetstream Africa Blows Open Gateway to Smoother Intracontinental Trade

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Jetstream Africa, a logistics service revolutionizing trade among African countries, attracted investors including Alitheia IDF—a venture capital firm focused on providing funding for women-owned companies—in a seed round of 3 million dollars.

Jetstream Africa is bringing cross-border trade online through “a network of freight carriers, customs agents and ground transporters that combine technology and on-the-ground know-how to move shipments” across Africa and the globe, according to the company website. By equipping trade ports with the technology to communicate documentation, tariff restrictions and cargo locations, Jetstream Africa creates a centralized system for fast and efficient trade.

In an effort to decrease Africa’s dependence on imports, CEO of Jetstream Africa Miishe Addy and COO Solomon Torgbor co-founded the Ghana-based startup to great financial success.

A rarity for businesses over the past year, the pandemic positively affected Jetstream—as trade ports were in desperate need of a streamlined approach to moving goods—boosting Jetstream revenue by over 500%.

“Aside from the big billions of dollars of numbers we hear, it’s really the human impact, the ability for people to advance themselves along with the economy that’s the most compelling piece,” said Addy on the World Summit Award-nominated Ghanaian radio show Citi Trends.

Half Ghanaian and half American, Addy was raised in Texas. She attended Harvard, earning a degree in philosophy. After learning from a misfired startup in California, Addy looked back to her Ghanaian roots.

“Ghana was always in my heart, but not on my resume,” said Addy on Project Management Institute’s Future 50: Rising Young Project Leaders podcast.

Addy moved to Ghana where she found a burgeoning tech scene, ripe for innovation, and Jetstream Africa was born.

When facilitating trade in Nigeria, Addy and Torgbor ran into unique challenges.

“I was raised in the United States and one of the things that I noticed when I came to Ghana was a lot of the startup challenges were sort of man versus nature challenges or man versus, you know, bureaucracy challenges,” said Addy in the Citi Trends interview. “They weren’t man versus man challenges, so it’s not so much competition. It’s overcoming the structural barriers.”

Jetstream Africa now provides port-to-port service across Ghana, Nigeria and the rest of the globe. With an estimated growth of 30 billion to Africa’s GDP by 2022, sights are set high for Jetstream Africa.

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