Addis Ababa, 11 November, 2020 (ECA) – The African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with the Southern African Development Community (SADC)-Women in Business, and the SADC Business Council is organizing tomorrow a webinar on women’s participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
With the theme "Women and private sector engagement in inclusive AfCFTA implementation: Views from SADC", the webinar will feature panel discussion with public and private sector stakeholders to understand how the implementation of the AfCFTA can support gender equality and women’s economic empowerment from a regional perspective.
"An inclusive approach to implementing the AfCFTA agreement is critical to its success and achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment" said Mr. David Luke, Coordinator of the ATPC, in a statement to announce the forum.
“Stakeholders, including women’s business associations, play a key role in supporting such an approach, specifically in identifying and conveying the priority needs and concerns of women entrepreneurs,” Mr. Luke said.
The AfCFTA agreement entered into force on 30 May 2019 after 22 countries ratified the treaty – the minimum number required by the treaty. That number has since grown to 30 countries. Trading was earlier scheduled to start on 1 July this year but was postponed for six months owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through its African Trade Policy Centre, the ECA has been working with the African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Economic Communities, and member states to deepen Africa's trade integration and effectively implement the agreement through policy advocacy and national strategy development. The ECA also works closely with the International Trade Centre (ITC), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and a selection of independent trade experts with the financial support of the European Union (EU) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to support the implementation of the treaty.
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