Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) have been encouraged to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement(AfCFTA) since they provide an estimated 80 percent of jobs across Africa, representing an important driver of economic growth.
In March 2018, African countries signed the AfCFTA which is a legal instrument establishing a free trade area among the African Union Member States.
It creates a single African market of over 1.3 billion consumers and it would be the world’s largest free trade area with a total GDP of over $ 3.4 trillion.
The senior presidential advisor on Trade and Industry ,Amelia Kyambadde recommended entrepreneurs to examine their business plans for applicability and to identify local representatives in countries with which they intend to trade.
The remarks were made during a training for SMEs at the Madhvani Hall, UMA Show Grounds attended by over 300 SMEs.
“Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) should insure their businesses and ensure that they have all of the necessary documentation for exporting to African markets,” Kyambadde told the Nile Post shortly after the event.
The executive director Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises(FSMEs), John Walugembe said that SMEs need to acquaint themselves with the relevant rules and regulations in order to benefit from the targeted 1.3 billion consumers in the African market.
“AfCFTA has the potential to promote diversification, thereby increasing the prospects for growth and development of emerging economies into the global economy. We are creating awareness among SMEs about the African Continental Free Trade Area and how it is likely to benefit them,” he said.
He said the intra-Africa trade is still low at 15% a trend being blamed on skills deficiencies, nationalism by member States that are keen on safeguarding their own industries among others.
Dr. Joshua Mutambi, the commissioner for processing and marketing at the Trade ministry, encouraged SMEs to adopt and use digital marketing to expand their market. He also congratulated SMEs for taking part in the AfCFTA awareness and export readiness training program.