The COMESA Business Council (CBC), Africa Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI) and the AeTrade Group are joining forces to advance the interests and concerns of business, cooperating on matters related to technical skills development, digital business facilitation, trade partnerships and private sector development.
This was symbolically done through the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding among the three institutions that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the sidelines of the 33rd African Union ordinary session summit themed, “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.”
Past CBC Chairperson, Doctor Amany Asfour, AeTrade Group’s Founder and CEO, MuluAlem Syoum and ALLPI Executive Director, Professor Mwinyikione Mwinyihija, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations.
“This partnership is a real opportunity to transform the region’s socioeconomic landscape, strengthening industries and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) through financial inclusion, business linkages and facilitation of market access,” said Marday Venketasamy, Chairperson, CBC.
CBC and ALLPI in collaboration with the AeTrade Group will further explore and implement as appropriate, actions that support solutions to some of Africa’s trade and economic challenges.
These are identified as priorities in line with the implementation of the Agreement on African Continental Free Trade Area, with a specific focus on the master plan of the African Union Strategy on Micro Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
“The three institutions complement each other very well and can offer meaningful support towards enhancing the levels of trade in the region,” said AeTrade Group’s Founder and CEO, MuluAlem Syoum.
The cooperation will concentrate on, but will not be limited to, establishment and/or consolidation of regional electronic trade, and development of sustainable efforts in the areas of fair and transparent business models and practices.
The collaboration between the three institutions is in response to low levels of intra-Africa trade and will provide an opportunity to empower and support small and medium enterprises across the continent so that they can take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and its opportunities in the digital market.
Both the public and private sectors are urged to explore ways that they can partner with the CBC, ALLPI and AeTrade Group, in facilitating the delivery of intra-regional trade enhancing solutions, through multi‐stakeholder processes and mechanisms, befitting for the African context.