By Abdul Rahman Bangura–
NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS (NABN) Freetown, Sierra Leone- African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) and International Trade Centre (ITC) are co-operating to assist enterprises earn the most of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
An assertion from the Bank, and made accessible to the media on June 3rd, 2020, that the training programme, tagged How to Export within the AfCFTA, is being inaugurated as the new free-trade area arrives on stream and amid the financial burden of climate change and the the Novel Coronavirus pandemic.
The training will give business holders, the proficiency and abilities they wish to commit effectively in cross-border trade under terms of the arising free-trade area for Africa. Intra-African trade is structurally low at 15% (compared to Europe at nearly 70%, for example), and the AfCFTA will open a market of 1.2 billion people.
“Against the backdrop of the current COVID-19 health and economic crisis, African micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) need support to take full advantage of the continental market,” ITC acting Executive Director Dorothy Tembo said.
“Through this partnership, African businesses will have the opportunity to learn, plan and succeed in growing their business by taking full advantage of the AfCFTA”, further said.
Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative, asserted that, the initiative was essential because boosting intra-African trade through exports of goods and services by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) was the cornerstone of the AFCFTA.
“It signals an optimal strategy to aid businesses and develop regional value chains, which have become more relevant with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
“Our joint initiative with ITC is a proactive way to support the implementation of the AfCFTA and to provide SMEs with the tools to respond more effectively to the economic and social challenges presented by the global pandemic,” added Ms. Awani.
The training programme, which rides via ITC’s outstanding multilingual SME Trade Academy platform, under the auspices of the Afreximbank Academy (AFRACAD), will be piloted in Nigeria, Rwanda, and Côte d’Ivoire and be launched in close collaboration with trade promotion organizations of the three selected pilot countries.
Afreximbank and ITC will work toward increasing opportunities for small-business owners to export and supporting countries to achieve their overall trade goals at the regional, continental and global levels.
ITC is also partnering with Afreximbank to fund South Sudan in improving its trade competitiveness, boosting its exports through economic diversification and building enterprise chances through the development of a trade and investment growth policy.
This will specify various emphasis areas, with an ability for trade and heightening job opportunities − especially for women and young people. I will work with the country’s ministry of
trade, investment agencies, and private-sector associations to ensure the strategy provides sustainable solutions for the country’s development.
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