ECA partners African MSMEs on implementation of AfCFTA

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has begun consultation with African micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) using digital platforms.

According to a statement from the Communications Section of the ECA on Friday, the consultation was with business management consultant AUNIQUEI, with funding from the European Union (EU).

Business leaders and experts from across Africa participated in a three-day event, which started on Wednesday, to gain insight into the challenges the agreement posed to small and medium businesses.

In her opening speech, Director, African Institute for Development and Economic Planning (IDEP), Ms. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, said the gathering was intended to see how participants could boost the agreement’s implementation.

“The meeting will offer the opportunity for MSMEs to reap the benefits of some of the work ECA is doing on MSME digitalisation and a digital application it is developing to help monitor and correct remarks capable of negatively impacting AfCFTA implementation,” Soltane said.

The director added that the MSMEs should play their part alongside the public sector if the AfCFTA was to succeed.

The director further said Africa was making efforts to ensure the success of the agreement adding that when implemented, it would take Africa’s gross domestic product to 3.4 trillion dollars.

Similarly, ECA’s Senior Regional Adviser, Mr Adeyinka Adeyemi, said the forum’s objective was to seek to build a network of African MSMEs as well as to learn what the AfCFTA meant to the enterprises and to help them make money.

“This meeting constitutes part of the strategy of the ECA to establish a continental network and interactions amongst MSMEs to grant them access to information and understanding on the implementation process as well as the impact of the free trade agreement,” Adeyemi highlighted.


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