By Joy Odigie
Benin, July 12, 2021 The Organisation of Women in International Trade (OWIT) Nigeria, is advocating for effective trade facilitation and inclusive logistics reforms to enable women entrepreneurs benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Ms Blessing Irabor, the President, OWIT Nigeria, made the call during an interview with newsmen on Monday in Benin.
Irabor said effective trade facilitation for women entrepreneurs was key to enhance economic opportunities for women-owned businesses and informal female cross-border traders.
She said that integrating gender dimensions into trade facilitation and logistics initiatives should not be cumbersome and resource-intensive.
“According to the World Bank, trade facilitation and logistics initiatives seek to improve customs and border management, trade infrastructure and port efficiency.
“It also seeks to enhance transport security, logistics and transport services, regional trade corridors and transit and multimodal transport.
“It is there very important to integrate gender dimensions into trade facilitation and logistics initiatives, especially using the spectrum AfCFTA.’’
“More importantly, ignoring the varying forms of discriminations women face in their efforts to trade and export will definitely limit the positive effects of AfCFTA in the country’s economy.’’
NAN reports that AfCFTA is projected to cover a market of 1.2 billion people and generate a Gross Domestic Product of 2.5 trillion dollars, across all 55 member states of the AU.
NAN also reports that in terms of numbers of participating countries, AfCFTA will be the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.
AfCFTA: Group seeks trade facilitation, logistics reforms for female entrepreneurs
By Joy Odigie