The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) in Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, have partnered to support African women to participate in intra-regional trade.

The partnership announcement to support women entrepreneurs in Africa was made at the Africa Women Trade Conference organized by ITC and OWIT Nairobi on 25th and 26th November.

The conference was themed Empowering Women in Intra-Africa Trade, and encouraged women entrepreneurs to trade cross continentally, taking advantage of the AfCFTA’s enormous potential for trade within the regional and continental markets. The conference further focused on Africa’s investment opportunities while creating an opportunity for women entrepreneurs and business leaders to meet with investors.

The two day hybrid event, with 200 participants on-site and 1,000 joining virtually, brings together traders, government agencies, financial institutions, investors, small businesses and local eco-system partners.

Experts attending the conference say it is critical to establish what the AfCFTA means for women in terms of their participation in cross-border trade, value chains and public procurement. They also highlighted that women and youth are key stakeholders in continental economic development, as Africa’s informal sector accounts for 85% of the continent’s total economic activity.

During the event, Caroline Gathii, President of OWIT Nairobi noted, “we are honoured to partner with ITC through the One Trade Africa programme on the Africa Women Trade Conference which is the first of its kind in the region. The conference provides a platform for connections, collaborations, and exchange of ideas between Africa states. Together with ITC we will seek to explore avenues of increasing intra-African trade among women in the region.”