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EACBC trains 50 S. Sudanese women, youth on continental free trade

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Monday, November 13, 2023

Participants at the workshop on the intricacies of free trade facilitated by the EACBC. (-)

The East African Business Council has empowered over 50 South Sudanese women and youth entrepreneurs on the workings  of free trade in the continent.

According to a press statement by the East African Business Council, the groundbreaking sensitization workshop was conducted by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

The two-day training which concluded in Juba last week, aims to foster readiness among women and youth to get the most out of opportunities presented by the council.

At the event, participants, representing diverse sectors including cross-border trade, services, agriculture, manufacturing, and processing, as well as extractives, engaged in insightful discussions throughout the two-day event in Juba.

The workshop provides a platform for these key players to assess the status of East African negotiations and decipher the protocols’ implications for their businesses.

“In preparation to seize the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA, the EABC appreciates the Republic of South Sudan in supporting the economic integration of the EAC,” said Mr. Geoffrey Kamanzi, Policy Manager of Trade in Services, speaking on behalf of EABC CEO Mr. John Bosco Kalisa.

He added that the regional business council is realizing the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement efforts towards ratifying the council agreement as well as the efforts in supporting trade in the region and the continent.

The agreement represents 1.3 billion people/consumers and this population is expected to increase to 1.7 billion people by 2030 out of which about 600 million will be in the middle class.

The agreement is expected to contribute to a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion and consumer spending of close to USD 4 trillion.

The African Continental Free Trade Area is expected to lift 20 million people out of extreme poverty and 60 million people out of moderate poverty by 2035.

Mr. Stephen Doctor, Director General of External Trade (Ministry of Trade and Industry commended EABC for the initiative to empower businesses in light of AfCFTA.

Mr. Doctor spoke about the role of SMEs in mass production and value addition for the continental market.

He appealed to the private sector to ensure compliance with external market standards and professionalize business systems for seamless connection to continental markets.

The sensitization was intended to enlighten South Sudanese on the challenges and opportunities within the continental market in order to contribute significantly to intra-African trade.

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