Fifty or more years ago much of Nigeria and other African countries still lacked the rudiments of a lively business in the modern sense of the word. This was mainly because there were much less goods and services to dispose of, much less purchasing power, much less serviceable means of transport for handling the meagre surpluses than are available today. However, there existed centres of aboriginal economic organization which also, even in a rudimentary way, achieved the circulation of goods. For instance, relevant information is available which indicates that even where barter prevailed, extrafamilial and intertribal exchanges were to be found, while what might be termed protomarkets, where particular kinds of goods were bartered at particular times, existed.
From the point of view of the functional common denominator, exchange, therefore, proofs abound which falsify the concept that separates different levels of “the market” or of “marketing” and concentrates attention only on the “modern” aspect. This is to say that what existed in Africa in this regard was, and to some extent is, the first end of a continuum whose other end is the modern market. In many cases, a movement toward the middle of this continuum and even to the modern end is today observable in nearly every country in Africa. Thus, in truth, the difference is not in kind but rather in degree.
What I am trying to emphasize is that the trading instinct is strong in many Africans.