Part of his vision for the implementation of the Africa trade agreement is the empowerment of women and other vulnerable groups in Africa, the Secretary-General of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Wamkele Mene has said.
He says there must be a conducive atmosphere for women in trade, young Africans and Small and Medium Enterprises to benefit from the trade agreement hence his objective.
Speaking at the commissioning and handing over of the AfCFTA building in Accra on Monday, Mr. Mene said the aim is to bridge the gender gap in achieving a shared growth across the continent.
He reminded that the empowerment of women, young Africans and other disadvantaged segments of our society “is a central objective of Agenda 2063.”
“We know from empirical evidence that women, young Africans and SMEs, confront significant challenges when attempting to benefit from trade agreements.”
“I, therefore, intend to take concrete steps to ensure that women and young Africans are at the heart of the implementation of the AfCFTA,” he said.
The AfCFTA is expected to create opportunities for women in trade; amongst others, by lowering the gender wage gap.
Mr. Mene also noted that the AfCFTA has “an obligation to establish a conducive environment to include young Africans in the implementation of the AfCFTA.”
“In due course, I will announce specific measures that can be put in place to enable women, young Africans and SMEs, to benefit from the AfCFTA to achieve the objective of inclusive benefits of the AfCFTA and shared growth across the continent,” he added.