The African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) and International Trade Centre (ITC) are teaming up to help small businesses maximise the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area. They will train Small Business Owners and young entrepreneurs in Africa to trade with other African countries as part of the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The programme, How To Export Within AfCFTA, is being launched as the new free trade area comes on stream. It will give business owners the knowledge and skills they need to engage effectively in cross-border trade under terms of the emerging free trade area for Africa.
Intra-African trade is structurally low at 15 percent (compared to Europe at nearly 70 percent, for example). AfCFTA will open a market of 1.2 billion people.
ITC Acting Executive Director, Dorothy Tembo, says: “African Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) need support to take full advantage of the continental market. 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.”
Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative, saying that the initiative was necessary because increasing intra-African trade through exports of goods and services by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is the cornerstone of the AFCFTA, adds: “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.”
The training, to be delivered via ITC’s popular multilingual SME Trade Academy platform, under the auspices of the Afreximbank Academy (AFRACAD), will be piloted in Nigeria, Rwanda, and Côte d’Ivoire and launched in collaboration with trade promotion organisations of the three pilot countries.
International Trade Centre, the joint agency of the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations, assists small and medium-size enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets.

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