At the margins of the EU-Africa Business Forum, the International Trade Centre (ITC) signed a partnership with the Africa Business Council (AfBC) to empower African enterprises especially women and youth.
Through this partnership ITC’s One Trade Africa program will support the AfBC in its mandate to coordinate business support organizations across the continent and provide better services to the private sector. African enterprises will also gain access to practical information, knowledge and skills to improve competitiveness and their ability to access new opportunities using the AfCFTA among others.
During the signing ceremony, ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke-Hamilton underscored ITC’s commitment to enabling micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) participation in the new single market.
‘Today’s institutional agreement with the AfBC is a big step towards empowering the African private sector to shift from trade and investment potential to concrete business transactions. We are fully committed to translating economic opportunities into commercial partnerships for African firms, in particular SMEs, to generate profits and decent jobs. AfBC and ITC will join forces to ensure that the private sector is driving the transformational agenda of Africa,’ said Coke-Hamilton.
As the principal voice of the private sector, the AfBC is prioritizing the AfCFTA for the benefit of the African business community and will seek to broaden and enhance existing mechanisms.
‘AfBC and ITC join forces to empower the African Private Sector including MSMEs, women and youth to realize the Africa We Want for a prosperous peaceful integrated Africa through private sector strengthening, policy advocacy for a conducive environment and product development for a competitive standardized quality value added African product,’ said Dr Amany Asfour President of AfBC.
As part of the One Trade Africa initiative and in close collaboration with the AfBC, African business owners will learn to make the most of opportunities accessible through the ongoing regional integration process.
The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transitioning economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
ITC’s newest program, One Trade Africa, will enable, empower and enhance MSMEs opportunities especially women and youth, to access trade opportunities under the AfCFTA. ITC will also provide African MSMEs with training, advice and coaching to build capacities, connect to new and more lucrative markets, and create jobs with technical assistance and advisory services.
The Africa Business Council (AfBC) established as an institution in line with the African Union Assembly Decision (Assembly/AU/Dec. 394(XVIII)) of 2012 on Boosting Intra African trade and Fast Tracking the Establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area with its founding vision of a competitive, innovative and borderless Africa for trade, investment, and industrialization.
The founding mission of the AfBC is to be the premier advocacy arm and platform for private sector cooperation and engagement at the African continental level, strengthening economic, commercial, business and investment ties among the business communities of the African continent, while ensuring regular inclusive dialogue with the African Union.
AfBc is inclusive of the private sector of RECs Business Councils, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Manufacturers Association. Private Sector Federations, Union of Industries with its objective among the main objectives is to support and empower the participation of SMEs, women and youth in the African and the global economy