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AfCFTA: Group canvases trade facilitation, logistics reforms for female entrepreneurs

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Chinazor Megbolu

The Organisation of Women in International Trade (OWIT) Nigeria, is canvassing for efficient trade facilitation and logistics reforms in a bid to help women entrepreneurs benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The President, OWIT Nigeria, Ms Blessing Irabor, said on Monday in Benin, Edo State capital that effective trade facilitation for women entrepreneurs is crucial to boost economic opportunities for women-owned businesses and informal female cross-border traders.
Irabo also explained that integrating gender dimensions into trade facilitation and logistics initiatives should not be cumbersome and resource-intensive.
“According to the World Bank, trade facilitation and logistics initiatives seek to improve customs and border management, trade infrastructure and port efficiency.
“It also seeks to enhance transport security, logistics and transport services, regional trade corridors and transit and multimodal transport.
“It is there very important to integrate gender dimensions into trade facilitation and logistics initiatives, especially using the spectrum AfCFTA.
“More importantly, ignoring the varying forms of discriminations women face in their efforts to trade and export will definitely limit the positive effects of AfCFTA in the country’s economy,’’ Irabo said.
She pointed out that AfCFTA is positioned to cover a market of 1.2 billion people and generate a Gross Domestic Product of 2.5 trillion dollars, across all 55 member states of the AU.
Irabo also noted that when it comes to participating countries, AfCFTA will be the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organisation

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