Women traders in the AfCFTA event – Expo 2020 Dubai
The Women Traders in the AfCFTA, a partnership formed by ICC, UPS, Trade Law Centre (tralac), and West Blue Consulting, met at Expo 2020 Dubai to support women-led SMEs in Africa.
Launched in February 2021, the partnership offers capacity building programmes and tools, including co-developed trade and information portals called “e-Trade Hubs,” advocates for enabling public policy, and creating electronic guidelines to help women entrepreneurs scale-up and digitise their businesses.
The one-day event brought together AfCFTA entrepreneurs, innovators and business leaders – both in-person and virtually – to discuss shared challenges, obstacles, and success stories. Taking place on October 16, 2021, the event offered a platform to celebrate inspirational development journeys, showcase innovative products and services, and create new network opportunities for upscaling businesses and entering new marketplaces.
Some key quotes:
“The Protocols on Women and E-Commerce [are] key to ensure that the AfCFTA trade governance agenda contributes meaningfully to women’s economic empowerment in a competitive digital economy” - Trudi Hartzenberg
“We need to do everything in our power to ensure that [women] are provided with the tools and resources to outlast this crisis and fortify their operations for the future” - John W.H. Denton AO International Chamber of Commerce
“In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, policymakers and business leaders must to step up to enable the digitalisation of women-led MSMEs in Africa” - Valentina Mintah West Blue Consulting
“Both the future of Africa and global trade depend on providing [women] entrepreneurs and innovators the tools they need to realize their business dreams” - Laura Lane UPS