Flagship report spotlights women’s voices on how to make the AfCFTA Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade work for development
October 5, 2022
Addis Ababa, 29 September 2022 – UNDP, in partnership with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat, UN Women and the Government of Canada, have published a report titled Engine of Trade in Africa: Amplifying the voices of women across Africa on how to make the AfCFTA Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade work for development.
The report was officially launched during the AfCFTA Conference on Women and Youth in Trade convened under the patronage of H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, on 12-14 September 2022 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
The Engine of Trade in Africa report is a consolidated regional report drawn from 26 national consultations and two online surveys that were launched to gather women’s experiences, challenges and proposed solutions to maximize their benefits from AfCFTA-related market openings.
According to World Bank estimates, the AfCFTA is anticipated to boost Africa’s income by US$450 billion by 2035 and to increase intra-Africa exports by over 81 percent. The AfCFTA is expected to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty and 68 million people out of moderate poverty.
Yet, pre‐existing gender imbalances that manifest at the macro, meso and micro levels could lead to unequal outcomes for women and men, negatively affecting women’s ability to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the AfCFTA and further reinforcing pre-existing gender inequalities.
“This report details UNDP’s commitment and belief in the AfCFTA’s capacity to rewrite global economic policy in the interest of Africa’s development”, said Christine Musisi, UNDP Resident Representative for Tanzania.
The report provides an in-depth reflection of the experiences of Africa’s women who trade across borders through micro, small, medium and large-sized enterprises in both the formal and informal sectors. It also fills the knowledge gap on Africa’s women in trade by first understanding their level of knowledge and engagement with the AfCFTA, and equally offering a rare opportunity to appreciate issues that affect women in trade, as expressed by the women themselves.
Held under the theme “Women and Youth: The Engine of AfCFTA Trade in Africa”, the conference provided a platform for women and youth in trade, policy makers, development partners, financiers, and other key stakeholders in the continent to discuss, in depth, perspectives on issues that affect women and youth in trade.
In attendance was the President of United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan; the Vice President of Uganda H.E. Jessica Allupo; the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia H.E. Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor; the Former President of Malawi, Joyce Banda; Ministers of trade and gender across the continent, UN agencies, Civil Society Organizations and academia.
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