Women entrepreneurs seek enhanced sensitization on AfCFTA

Women entrepreneurs seek enhanced sensitization on AfCFTA

Women in business and trade have called on African governments and the AfCFTA Secretariat to intensify education on the continental agreement amongst small and medium businesses, particularly women-led enterprises, to ensure efficient implementation of the continental market.

At a stakeholder workshop organised by the Aya Institute for Women, Politics and Media with support from GIZ, it was revealed that out of 80 SMEs and 370 traders sampled for an AfCFTA awareness research, about 40 and 296 traders respectively had no knowledge of the single African market.

The report also showed that a little over 50percent of the sample size in the retail sector had the highest level of awareness, followed by the services sector whilst businesses in the manufacturing sector had the least awareness of the market.

Head of GIZ Trade Hub, Dr. Maren Breuer, said her organization has a strong focus on supporting women in cross-border trade, especially small and medium enterprises.

“We are currently implementing the Ghana component of two programmes; an AfCFTA support programme and the other on trade facilitation. We have in both programmes, a strong focus on supporting women in cross border trade.

This study was started a year ago to assess the potential of women-led MSMEs in Ghana to take advantage of the AfCFTA,” she stated.

Marketing Manager for the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Grace Dzeble, explaining the workings of the AfCFTA Rules of Origin, encouraged women entrepreneurs to get proper understanding of the rules to be able to trade under AfCFTA.

“It’s not like you’re a women in business or whatever you produce can be exported under the AfCFTA. There are rules that govern what products you produce that’s certified for the AfCFTA market,” she indicated.

She also disclosed that no company has so far been able to export under the AfCFTA but registration is currently ongoing.

The women in trade also complained about insufficient knowledge about the enormous benefits of the single continental market.

Fatima Ali-Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer of African Brand Warrior, stressed that the AfCFTA market will be very competitive with the influx of African businesses on the domestic environment, and urged the need for more dialogues and discussions on the topic.


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