Women engaged in cross-border trade sensitized on AfCFTA

About 60 women cross-border traders were trained to sensitize them on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and regional trade rules.

Organized by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in partnership with German Development Cooperation, the workshop was also expected to provide an engagement platform to help improve the responsiveness of the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) and of the Working Group on Gender Equality in Developing Gender Responsive Trade Policies. .

The sensitization workshop, themed “Women in Trade: Promoting Inclusion to Harness the Benefits of the AfCFTA”, was held in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day.

The participants were drawn from various women’s groups, including the Association of Ghana Women Entrepreneurs (GAWE), Association of Traders Unions of Ghana (women’s representatives), Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (women’s representatives), Women in Shipping and Transport International (WISTA) and Ghana. GRA Customs Division (including Customs Women).

Addressing the participants, the Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry, Nana AmaDokuaAsiamah-Adjei (MP), indicated that as part of the government’s commitments under the Agreement on Trade Facilitation of the he World Trade Organization Ministry established the CNFE to coordinate and implement trade facilitation reforms in Ghana.

She said Ghana’s commitments under the AfCFTA, ECOWAS protocols, the Ghana-EU Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) and the Ghana-UK Trade Partnership Agreement ( APT) had expanded the scope of the NTFC to include trade facilitation commitments under these agreements.

Referring to a study by the World Bank’s Trade Facilitation Program in West Africa (TFWA), she noted that women constituted a significant portion of small informal cross-border traders who faced obstacles in getting their goods across. across borders.

These barriers, Ms. Asiamah-Adjei, included lack of knowledge of border procedures, cumbersome border procedures despite trading in low value goods, sexual harassment, lack of access to finance, among others.

Ms. Asiamah-Adjeisaid the mandate of the Gender Task Force includes identifying the challenges faced by women traders and developing and implementing gender-responsive trade policies in the country.

She expressed the hope that the outcome of the workshop would be a policy brief on opportunities for women in trading across borders under the AfCFTA, which would serve as a guide for the Ghana negotiating team on the AfCFTA Phase III negotiations on gender, youth and SMEs.

GIZ Ghana Inclusive Economic Development Cluster Coordinator Gerald Guskowski noted that GIZ Ghana has so far supported the training of around 500 officials from the Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division) on the original AfCFTA rules, 30% of whom were women.

A Trade Facilitation Team Leader at the Ministry, Kyeremeh Yeboah, briefed participants on trade processes under the AfCFTA and how women and youth have been supported under the AfCFTA. the agreement.

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