AfCFTA secretariat mulls protocol to promote gender, youth interests

Wamkele Keabetswe Mene (R) Secretary-General AfCTA and Trade and Industrialization PS Johnson Weru PHOTO (Wilberforce Okwiri)

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat will develop a protocol to address issues of women and young people in the implementation of the continental free trade agreement, an official said on Monday.

Emily Mburu-Ndoria, the director for Trade in Services and Intellectual Property at the AfCFTA Secretariat, said during the All-Africa High-Level Virtual Roundtable on AfCFTA Youth Inclusion that the heads of state and government of the continent had tasked the secretariat to formulate that protocol to ensure that women and youth have access and derive the intended benefits from the new trade arrangements.

"At the core of the AfCFTA implementation, we have the roles of women and youth. The protocol will therefore ensure the full inclusion of women and youth," said Mburu-Ndoria.

Since many small and medium enterprises on the continent are led by youths and women, the official said, there was a need for awareness creation to get the youth interested in the processes of implementation of the new trade area agreement.

She also urged African youth to form themselves into sub-regional groupings to represent their interests during critical discussions on continental trade issues.

The All-Africa High-Level Virtual Roundtable on AfCFTA Youth Inclusion was launched by YouthLead Africa, a non-governmental organization based in Ghana, to inform and engage the youth of Africa on the implementation of the AfCFTA.

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