On the sidelines of 41st At the Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union taking place in Lusaka, Zambia, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat and Equity Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to deepen the economic integration of the African continent.
The partnership aims to implement the AfCFTA Agreement and the AfCFTA Private Sector Strategy through the `African Recovery and Resilience Plan’which focuses on accelerating economic recovery and resilience in Africa, in a post-COVID-19 environment.
The initiative is designed to present a framework for socio-economic transformation for the people of the African continent based on 6 integrated pillars aimed at catalyzing a transformation of Africa based on natural resources, improving agricultural production, formalizing agricultural chains extractive value and connect these primary resources. sectors with global supply chains that are broken and require diversification and secure sourcing.
The of them establishments will be work on the private sector economic recovery and resilience plan, which Equity launched with a $6 billion fund focused on the primary sectors of food and agriculture, extractive industries, manufacturing and logistics, trade and investment, social impact, health and environmental investment, as well as a technology-based economy to accelerate the economic recovery and resilience of the African continent.
The partnership will support, among other things, the creation of 50 million jobs by 2025 and 5 million SMEs will receive loans at scale and grow, using the tools of the ZLEC agreement and create additional loans at the private sector with a loan portfolio envisaged to be directed towards agriculture (30%), manufacturing (15%), MSMEs (65%).
As the continent’s technical interface with Africa’s development actors and partners for the achievement of accelerated regional integration, the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development ( AUDA-NEPAD) will collaborate with institutions through various means including project funding, trade enhancement and fundraising.
During the signing of the MoU, H.E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, noted that “the AfCFTA will ensure that the continent is well positioned to overcome crises such as COVID-19 by adhering to building on the framework of the AfCFTA agreement. Our partnership with Equity Group is a valuable intervention for the African continent, through which we recognize that trade will enable our continent to accelerate economic recovery.
Together with AUDA-NEPAD, we will also be able to fulfill our respective mandates through the complementarity of our expertise, skills, purpose and vision, paying particular attention to the interests of micro, small and medium companies, women -businesses, workers and young people.
Dr. James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group, said: “Today’s signing with the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat is an important moment for the recovery and resilience of the African continent. and for the creation of wealth for our people.
The growth opportunities that the CFTA agreement provides for SMEs are unprecedented, making cross-border trade and scaling a possibility for all eligible and interested businesses. Equity Group Foundation provides opportunities to transform lives and livelihoods and build capacity across six pillars which include education and leadership development, health, food and agriculture, energy and technology. environment, financial inclusion and enterprise development, and social protections that serve to leave no one behind. in the recovery and resilience of the African continent,” said Dr Mwangi.