AfCFTA launches digital platform for SMEs
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA )-Secretariat has launched the #AfCFTAHub digital platform at the Boma of Africa (www.bomaofafrica.com) event convened to mark Africa Integration Day.
The AfCFTA has established the world’s largest trading bloc. However, it is essential to prevent SMEs and startups, which constitute the vast majority of economic actors on the African continent, from getting lost among the technical complexities and infrastructural bottlenecks of doing business in the Single Market.
The AfCFTA Hub is designed to grow into a single, trusted directory of the services needed to navigate the AfCFTA for small players, thereby making the AfCFTA the most inclusive Free Trade Area in the world. The AfCFTA Hub also powers the “AfCFTA Number”, a trusted identity and social score for all SMEs, startups and other AfCFTA players.
The #AfCFTA Hub digital platform was officially launched on July 8th, 2022
The AfCFTA Hub platform was launched on behalf of AfCFTA Secretariat by the African Union AfCFTA Champion, Mahamadou Issifou, former President of the Republic of Niger and 2020 Ibrahim Prize Laureate.
The Boma of Africa was jointly convened by the African Union (AU), the AfCFTA Secretariat, AfroChampions and the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
It was supported by the AfCFTA Hub Network, with support from Afreximbank, MTN, Ecobank, the Village Foundation, IC Publications, Dominion Television and APO.
The launch of the AfCFTA Hub also coincided with the 3rd Anniversary of the entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The lineup of corporate supporters included major logistics companies such as RwandAir Ltd, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and ASKY Airlines.
Also represented were continental retail and distribution companies like MaxMart, Melcom Group of Companies, Walmart Africa and Naivas Supermarket. On the digital, financial services, and fintech fronts, companies that participated in the launch of the AfCFTA Hub included Safaricom PLC #mPesa, Pan-African Payment & Settlement System – PAPSS, Vodacom, Orange, Webb Fontaine, SCANNING SYSTEMS, and Standard Bank Group.
Input into the development finance prospects came from the BADEA – Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (#BADEA) and the African Development Bank Group (#AfDB). The AfCFTA Hub (www.afcfta.app) is an interconnected clearinghouse or nexus for national government, intergovernmental, private, and public digital and partnership platforms to link together in ways that simplifies and smooth the way for #SMEs and startups to drive the success of the AfCFTA (the African Continental Free Trade Area ).
Mr Wamkele Mene, in his keynote remarks emphasised the “importance of ensuring the centrality of SMEs, startups and female entrepreneurs as we strive to build the world’s most inclusive, most innovative and most integrated Single Market.”