Women and Youth in Trade
The Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union committed “to broaden inclusiveness in the operation of the AfCFTA through interventions that support young Africans, women, and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well as integrating informal cross-border traders into the formal economy by implementing the simplified trade regime”.
In line with the directives of African leaders, the AfCFTA Secretariat is undertaking preparatory work towards the negotiations and development of the AfCFTA Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade. The Protocol is expected to address the specific constraints and barriers women face when trading on the continent. It will create an environment that allows women to utilise the AfCFTA by accessing wider markets, improving their competitiveness, and participating in regional value chains.
As of May 2022, consultations have been held in 26 countries and additional consultations are ongoing. These consultations provide women in trade a platform to express their opinion and voice their concerns and needs, thereby actively participating in the development of the Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade.