The International Trade Centre (ITC), in partnership with the African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank)- a Pan African multi-lateral institution located in Cairo, Egypt, has launched a new training programme for small businesses on how to export within the African Continental Free Area (AfCFTA).
ITC and Afreximbank launched this training programme at the Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 which is taking place in Durban, South Africa until 21 November 2021
ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, which assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transitioning economies to become more competitive in global markets.
The ITC/ AfCFTA training programme has been developed with African enterprises in mind.
Its overall aim is to support the operationalization of the AfCFTA and to equip small businesses with the skills to seize the export opportunities presented by the new trading environment.
The pilot of this programme was first launched in Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and
Rwanda in 2020.
The new training programme uses case studies to examine key export concepts in relation to enterprises and the challenges faced in the export field.
The concepts include export readiness, market research, market development, market
access conditions, trade finance and international logistics.
Entrepreneurs will benefit from its focus on intra-African export operations and advantages related to intra-regional trade.
ITC and Afreximbank have made the programme’s online component freely available on the
Afreximbank Academy online platform to ensure that previously marginalized groups
including women and youth have access.
Phase two of this training programme will include the translation of the manuals from English and French into Arabic and Portuguese.
It will also expand its online component to all 55 African countries.
“The ITC/ AfCFTA training programme is crucial in empowering African small businesses and accelerating intra-African trade. Besides a shortage of working capital, small businesses consistently report difficulties in identifying foreign business opportunities and an inability to analyse export markets as the biggest barriers to exporting.
Providing them with information, knowledge and tools to overcome the challenges of international trade, the training programme will play a pivotal role in enabling them to contribute to the Agreement’s success, ” said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre.