The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat and the Equity Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to further the African continent’s economic integration.
The cooperation aims to put the AfCFTA Agreement and the AfCFTA Private Sector Strategy into action through the ‘Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan,’ which focuses on accelerating economic recovery and resilience in Africa in the post-COVID 19 future.
The initiative is intended to demonstrate a framework for socio-economic transformation for African people based on six integrated pillars aimed at catalyzing a natural resources-led transformation of Africa, increasing agricultural output, formalizing extractive value chains, and connecting these primary sectors to global supply chains that are broken and require diversification and secure sourcing.
Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat: ”The AfCFTA will ensure the continent is well positioned to overcome crises such as COVID-19 leveraging on the framework of the AfCFTA Agreement. Our partnership with the Equity Group is a valuable intervention for the African Continent, whereby we acknowledge that trade is going to enable our continent to accelerate economic recovery. With AUDA-NEPAD, we will also be able to deliver on our respective mandates through the complementarity of our expertise, skills, purpose, and vision, by taking special consideration of the interests of micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises, women-owned businesses, workers, and youth.”
The two institutions will work on the private sector economic recovery and resilience stimulus plan, which Equity has seeded with a USD 6 Billion fund focusing on the primary sectors of food and agriculture, extractives, manufacturing and logistics, trade and investments, social impact, health, and environmental investments, as well as a technology-enabled economy to accelerate economic recovery and resilience of the African continent.
The partnership will among others, support the creation of 50 million jobs by 2025 and 5 million SMEs will receive loans to scale and grow, utilizing tools of the AfCFTA Agreement and create additional private sector lending with an envisaged loan book to be directed to agriculture (30%), manufacturing (15%), MSMEs (65%). As the continent’s technical interface with Africa’s development stakeholders and development partners for the realization of accelerated regional integration, the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) will collaborate with the institutions through various means, including project financing, trade enhancement, and fund mobilization.
James Mwangi, Managing Director, and CEO, Equity Group: ”Today’s signing with the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat is a significant moment for recovery and resilience of the African continent and for the creation of wealth for our people”
“The growth opportunities which the AfCFTA Agreement affords SMEs are unparalleled, making trade and cross-border scaling a possibility for all eligible and interested businesses. Equity Group Foundation provides opportunities to transform lives and livelihoods and capacity building along six pillars which include Education and Leadership Development, Health, Food and Agriculture, Energy and the Environment, Financial Inclusion and Enterprise Development, and Social Protections which serve to leave no one behind in the recovery and resilience of the African continent.”