The AfCFTA business forum in Capetown in April was an important event to really understand the multiple aspects of the agreement. It was interesting to be in the room with policy makers, industry captains and entrepreneurs but the conversations were very different depending on who you spoke to. One parallel session on Monday 17th April 2023, really stood out for me because of the insights shared there, namely Parallel Session #3 “Spotlight on the
The AfCFTA Hub is a unified electronic gateway connecting e-government portals, business & consumer apps and supranational platforms into one continental digital ecosystem. The goal is to build trust across public and private channels and networks to simplify AfCFTA compliance and benefits for SMEs and startups, level the playing field in e-commerce & e-logistics, and lower the costs of cross-sector and cross-border transactions, for all to participate and benefit. How better to improve the ability to trade then to suppress fraud, increase trust, and build a common market on the back of solid social capital in order to deliver prosperity to all at their fingertip, on their doorstep and in the field at the top of hill as we look on at nature.
It was interesting to see how one platform can aggregate the existing ones and be the link for prosperity for all as long as everyone does their part. AfCFTA implementation can only be successful if we are able to ensure that more SMEs can start, grow and trade across the continent. This session reminded me that we must focus on doing the thing we do best and aligning with others through partnerships and alliances.
My highlight was listening to Ms. Awura Abena Agyeman, CEO, WEAR Ghana Ltd. Very often we say that the youth are not ready to be at the table but Awura spoke with such clarity and and certainty. Listening to her gave me extreme hope that our focus as an association on the youth will bear fruit. She reminded me of some of the business leaders we have interacted with in the Young Ventures Accelerator that we facilitated in conjunction with GIZ.
Several things stood out from the parallel session #3:
● Be certain about what you are specialised in and be sure you do it well.
● Find partners who are aligned with you and execute together furiously.
● Adapt and adjust as you go, do not wait for everything to be perfect.
● Review often and furiously; be relentless about improvement.
● Whatever happens, never give up.
By Kyesubire Greigg, Global President, SME Founders Association.