The East African Business Council (EABC) has called for the empowerment of women and youth in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the business body said in a statement on Monday.
EABC chief executive officer John Bosco Kalisa said in the statement that the AfCFTA agreement has stepped up to ensure the full inclusion of women and youth who are key components of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The statement said Kalisa made the remarks during the East African Civil Society Summit that was held in Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha on May 3-5.
He encouraged women and youth entrepreneurs to utilize digital tools available to take part in regional and continental trade and called for capacity-building and sharing of information, and elimination of VAT in digital tools and platforms to empower women and youth to engage in cross-border trade.
Tanzania’s Minister for Community Development, Gender, Women and Special Groups Dorothy Gwajima said AfCFTA has many opportunities, and civil society should be sensitized through a well-developed strategy that will reach all levels of society, including women and youth in rural areas.
Gwajima added that individuals must ensure they turn challenges into opportunities for the economic growth of all East African Community (EAC) member states of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda.
The statement said the summit discussed different thematic areas, including trade and investment, health, agriculture development, climate change as well as gender and youth. Enditem