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Strategic Partnership to accelerate an inclusive AfCFTA Implementation

Press Release

The Secretariat of the African Union Continental Free Trade Area and the African Electronic Trade Group partner to scale continentwide support in the implementation of the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area

Niamey, Niger, 24 November 2022 – The Secretariat to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA Secretariat and the African Electronic Trade Group (AeTrade Group) forged a new partnership to accelerate digital and financial inclusion at a larger scale by encouraging investment in small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) with a view to creating 80-125 million jobs by 2037, thereby eradicating extreme poverty in line with Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030.

Speaking at the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony, H.E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General emphasized on the importance of the AfCFTA. “The AfCFTA is our collective key to unlocking the opportunities. The African continent needs a human-centered development anchored on the improvement of the standard and quality of life of all segments of the population, thus achieving equal opportunities and equitable distribution of Africa’s wealth across classes, cultures, communities and genders.”

Mr. Mulualem Syoum, CEO of the AeTrade Group mentioned that the AeTrade Group’s approach to grassroots digital capacity building is aligned to Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want. “ We are building an inclusive ecosystem to provide affordable solutions to SMEs, women and youth to access the market including multichannel payments, affordable finance and logistics. Working together we can attain shared prosperity in all African countries”

The partnership contributes to the overall objective of supporting 600,000 SMEs to access the AfCFTA market through the Sokokuu scalable digital capacity building marketplace whilst creating 22 million decent jobs in the next four years. It will focus on enhancing export readiness of women and youth–led SMEs through onboarding onto the digital marketplace; facilitate boosting of MSME exporter competitiveness, financial and digital inclusion; and promoting youth enterprise access to B2B, B2G networking, mentorship and venture capital funding at continental trade fairs.

About the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want and entered into force on 30 May 2019. It is a high ambition trade agreement, which aims to bring together all 55 Member States of the African Union, covering a market of more than 1.3 billion people, with a comprehensive scope that includes critical areas of Africa’s economy, such as digital trade and investment protection, amongst other areas. By eliminating barriers to trade in Africa, the objective of the AfCFTA is to significantly boost intra-Africa trade, particularly trade in value-added production and trade across all services sectors of Africa’s economy, at a potential of 52.3 percent.

The Ae Trade 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. Grace Khoza, Principal Communications Advisor | African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat | E-mail: | Accra, Ghana

Ms. Elydora Matubanzila, Communications Officer | African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat| E-mail: | Accra, Ghana

Communication | Marketing | Advocacy Division, African Continental Free Trade Area | E-mail:

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AeTrade Group Contact:

Mrs. Treasure Maphanga, Chief Operating Officer, AeTrade Group

Please visit our website: AeTrade Group | Sokokuu Africa

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