Posted: May 24, 2023
The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) will host a series of awareness workshops on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) throughout the country starting at the Pavilion Hotel in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday, 25 May 2023. The aim of the Provincial Awareness Workshops is to communicate and engage private sector, Small and Medium Enterprises, as well as women and youth-owned business on the implementation of the AfCFTA, including the opportunities for South Africa to participate in preferential trade beyond the Southern Africa region
According to the Deputy Director-General of Exports at the dtic, Ms Lerato Mataboge, the objective of these workshops is also to identify companies, within the provinces, in the targeted sector masterplans, as well as other priority sectors to export to the rest of the continent. In addition, the workshops will also expose companies to the benefits of exporting under the AfCFTA.
“The six sector masterplans targeted for these workshops are steel and metal fabrication, agriculture and agro-processing, retail-clothing, textiles, footwear and leather value chain, automotive Industry, sugar value chain and forestry,” says Mataboge.
She adds that the inaugural AfCFTA Business Forum hosted in Cape Town last month created a platform where both the private and public sector from across the continent were encouraged to work together in the implementation of the AfCFTA.
“The discussions were centred on the economic potential of a ‘One Africa Market’ by dissecting key opportunities for trade and investment and highlighting the major challenges affecting intra-African trade. The forum underscored the importance of improving access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises, as well as investment in strategic sectors such as transport and logistics infrastructure, energy and information and communications technology in order to reduce the cost of doing business on the continent,” she says.
Mataboge states that the development of regional value chains was highlighted as the heartbeat of the AfCFTA in stimulating employment opportunities across the continent.
“African economies were urged to prioritise closing the infrastructure gap in order to increase intra-Africa trade by over 30% in order to fully realise the potential of the AfCFTA. For instance, it was noted that transportation infrastructure alone has the potential to double the transportation of goods by air from 2.3 million tons to 4.5 million tons,” says Mataboge.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)