Trademark East Africa and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a stronger cooperation in helping countries increase their levels of intra-regional trade and investments.
The MoU was signed in June 2019 to accelerate the implementation of the African Continental Freee Trade Area (AfCFTA).
To cement that partnership, the two institutions successfully collaborated in an event organised by TradeMark East Africa under the topic: Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): Women and Youth are Crucial to Africa’s Economic Transformation.
The session was held during the 2019 European Development Days meeting on the 18th-19thJune in Brussels,
During the meeting, Andrew Mold, Acting Director of ECA in Eastern Africa explained the ambitious nature of the AfCFTA, saying that AfCFTA is not, as its name denotes, simply a ‘free trade area’.
“It encompasses ambitions to proceed to a single unified continental market”, he said.
Mold stressed that the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers and harmonization of standards called for under the AfCFTA represent a unique opportunity to boost intra-regional trade and investment, allowing companies and farmers to tap into rapidly growing markets of Africa.
“Sectors that are set to benefit the most are the labour-intensive manufacturing and services industries where women and youth are well represented,” he emphasized.
The Chief Technical Officer of TradeMark East Africa, Allen Asiimwe, told the participants at the meeting that: ‘Policymakers should start looking at the collective power of women so that they can aggregate economies of scale.
“This can also be done through development of cross-border markets and through better information on logistics “ she noted.