The African Development Bank Group and the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) have signed a protocol of agreement on a US$11.24 million support package to enhance the secretariat’s effective implementation.
The signing took place on 25 July 2022 on the sidelines of the ninth meeting of the AfCFTA Council of Ministers Responsible for Trade held in Accra, Ghana.
The AfCFTA Secretariat, which is currently in Phase II of its implementation phase, will benefit from this support package, which aims to promote sustainable intra-African trade and increase the number of participating African states. The funds are intended to support the African trade integration program.
The grant, which was approved by the African Development Fund Board of Directors in July, will focus on three areas: institutional strengthening of the AfCFTA Secretariat; supporting the private sector in the implementation of the AfCFTA and promoting climate-resilient regional and continental value chains to enhance intra-African trade. In addition, studies and initiatives will be carried out to identify new trade and economic opportunities for women, help establish an AfCFTA protocol on women and youth in trade, and support capacity building. and targeted business skills for women.
HE. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat signed the agreement on behalf of his organisation, while the African Development Bank Vice President for Regional Development, Integration and Trade Delivery, Yacine Fal, signed on behalf of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Group President, African Development Bank.
Wamkele Mene said: “We welcome the Bank’s support as it is a clear sign of our strategic partnership that will strengthen the Secretariat’s capacity and facilitate the initiation of commercially meaningful trade under the leadership of the AfCFTA. The COVID-19 pandemic and the current geopolitical tensions have created an ethos of urgent collective action for the implementation of the AfCFTA. We all have this in common responsibility to change the destiny of all nations – Africa if we achieve the laudable goals of the AfCFTA.
“The African Development Bank is proud of its strong partnership with the AfCFTA Secretariat and is confident that this institutional support will help support our respective mandates to promote greater continental trade and economic transformation. In line with the Agenda 2063 vision of the Africa we want,” Fal said. “Africa’s hope to build stronger and better things lies in the successful implementation of AfCTA.”