Trade Ministry, GIZ promote women and inclusive cross-border trading within AfCFTA

Trade Ministry, GIZ promote women and inclusive cross-border trading within AfCFTA

The Ministry of Trade and Industry and the National Trade Facilitation Committee – together with its Trade and Gender Sub-Committee with support from GIZ – has held a one-day workshop for women in trade, on taking advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as part of celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day.

Naa Densua Aryeetey, Chairperson of the Trade and Gender Sub-Committee, recounted challenges faced by women engaged in cross-border trading in Ghana.

“Women tend to have problems including harassments at the borders; they find border procedures too cumbersome and they hardly understand most of Customs’ administrative processes due to low literacy levels. Cross-border trading for small-sized businesses is not that easy for women,” she disclosed in her remarks.

According to her, the Trade and Gender Sub-Committee has been formed with the core mandate of helping to tackle the challenges facing women in trade across the country.

Lucia Quachey, President of the Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs (GAWE), attributed the situation to poor national policies for women in trade.

“We do a lot but achieve nothing because of the inconsistencies in government, and the fact that government policies on women are not duly followed – especially for the informal export trade sector where women play a leading role,” she noted.

The World Bank, on its part, highlighted the several interventions it’s making to improve cross-border trading – particularly among women in Ghana and Africa.

The World Bank’s AfCFTA Consultant, Dode Seidu, said the Bank’s projects seek to improve the free and official movement of goods across the West African sub-region by reducing cost of trade that’s borne by the private sector.

“The project has three main components: to reduce barriers for small scale cross-border traders; look at adequate sanitary infrastructure; and security for the sole purpose of trade,” he explained.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry encouraged women to brace themselves to take advantage of the AfCFTA.

Head of Trade Facilitation and Import Management at the ministry, Kyeremeh Yeboah, said his outfit has set up various committees to enhance the capacity of Ghanaian firms that will be trading under the AfCFTA.


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