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AeTrade Presidential Advisory Council, convenes on the margins of the Extraordinary AU Summit, Niger

Niamey Niger, 25 November 2022, Yesterday, at the margins of the Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification and the Extraordinary Session on the African Continental Free Trade Area, the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Advisory Council of the AeTrade Group took place under the Chairmanship of His Majesty King Mswati III. The meeting was chaired by the Right Honourable Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Eswatini, Mr. Cleopas Dlamini and it was attended by Mr. Demek Mekonnen, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Mr. Wamkele Mene, the Chief Executive Officer of the AeTrade Group, Mr. Mulualem Syoum who also represented the Chairman of the AeTrade Group, H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, the Ambassador to the African Union and UNECA of the Republic of Rwanda, Ms. Hope Tumukunde and Ambassador Philbert Johnson, Ambassador to Australia and the UN offices from the Republic of Ghana. Mr. Ousmane Bah, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy of the Gambia was also in attendance.

The high-level meeting inaugurated the structure and also received a comprehensive report from the Chairperson of the Presidential Advisory Council. The meeting took note of the report and commended the Kingdom of Eswatini for their pioneering role in hosting the AeTrade Group and the impressive progress made despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the strategic nature of the initiative and its potential to accelerate economic transformation on the continent in an inclusive manner, it was recommended that it be considered as a flagship project under Agenda 2063 in the second 10-year implementation plan. Furthermore, they also reaffirmed their commitment to support the implementation of activities at country level in order to create millions of jobs in the next decade.

The meeting was immediately followed by the signature of a memorandum of understanding between the AeTrade Group and the African Continental Free Area. This step was applauded unanimously by all the members and the co-signatories were encouraged to work hard to ensure that it delivers the intended results of enabling SMEs, women and youth to access and reap benefits from the emerging continental market through the Sokokuu pan African digital capacity building e-commerce platform.

The AeTrade is an African Diaspora-led social entrepreneurship initiative filling crucial gaps in e-commerce and other ICTs and aiming to digitalize trade in Africa at a large scale. The group encourages investment in SMEs with a view to creating more jobs for the growing youth population – generating wealth across the continent. The AeTrade Group is implementing country programmes coordinated at their regional hubs with the continental headquarters located in Rwanda.

For further information, please contact:

Mrs. Treasure Maphanga, Chief Operating Officer, AeTrade Group

Please visit our website: AeTrade Group | Sokokuu Africa

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