Tanzania to host second AfCFTA conference on Women in Business

The minister for Investment, Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji PHOTO| COURTESY

Dar es Salaam. The government has finalised the preparation of the Draft Protocol on Women and Youth in Business within the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).

The protocol is now awaiting the approval of the AfCTA trade ministers to come into effect in 2023/24.

The minister for Industry and Trade, Dr Ashatu Kijaji, said this today, November 29, 2023, when briefing the media, where she explained about the conference with the theme "Strengthening Women's Participation in Business and Accelerating the Implementation of AfCFTA," organised by the ministry in collaboration with the AfCFTA Secretariat, where Tanzania will be the host.

She stated that, in addition to the protocol's success, the conference provided the right ways to solve various obstacles and challenges faced by women and young people in business in order for them to fully participate in business in Africa, such as limited access to finance, market information, inputs, use of technology, marketing and the limited ability to comply with standards and other legal requirements.

Dr Kijaji further said that the success includes 18 companies that sell products in the AfCFTA market, including women's companies of ANISIA Group (Tanzania) that sell clove products in Morocco and AJA (T) Ltd. that sell hemp ropes in Ghana.

“Tanzanian women started to do business in the AfCTA market, where out of the 10 companies, three are for women. We encourage them to participate in strengthening the value chain of products, especially agriculture and forestry, and sell their products through the AfCFTA market,” she said.

According to her, the companies fulfil Tanzania's goal of being among the first eight countries given priority to deliver 10 products that will enter the market in July 2023.

In her explanation of the conference, she stated that its goal is to bring together businesswomen to talk about, exchange experiences with, and resolve issues that they encounter in the workplace.

This will help the women devise plans to enhance their involvement in African business under the AfCFTA and ensure that they take full advantage of the business opportunities brought about by the agreement, which will boost employment and foster a robust economy for the country and society at large.

"Since women are fundamental to business and the economy, they must be included in order to benefit from the opportunities the agreement presents,” she said.

Speaking about the conference's attendees, she stated that roughly 700 people are anticipated, including a variety of female leaders from both inside and outside of Africa, including presidents, vice presidents, prime ministers, heads of various international institutions, well-known individuals, ministers in charge of the business sector, and gender issues pertaining to women, youth, and businessmen.

There will be a business exhibition featuring businesswomen from 55 African nations, she mentioned.