Raising Senegalese women’s concerns in the African Continental Free Trade Area
Senegal is developing its national strategy for implementing the continental agreement. Businesswomen met with top policymakers to explain their needs for the AfCFTA as it enters into force.
Senegal's Ministry of Commerce and the International Trade Centre (ITC) organized the second policy dialogue on the Senegal National Strategy on the AfCFTA on 14 September 2023, in Dakar.
The dialogue brought together political decision makers and businesses, mainly digital and agri-food companies. Most were businesses owned or led by women, including CF Digital Edge, Sekoya, Soxna, FESTIC, Amyrel, Baya Design, and Impact Hub Dakar.
The main objectives of the dialogue were to:
- Raise awareness of women's organizations and their members, as well as political decision makers, to gender mainstreaming in implementing the AfCFTA;
- Identify priorities of women in commerce from the perspective of businesswomen's associations; and
- Engage key stakeholders in the development and implementation of gender-sensitive policies within the AfCFTA.
The dialogue also explored strategies on how to get more women into international trade under the AfCFTA. The aim is to bring about systemic change in favour of women.
That’s what ITC's SheTrades Initiative is working towards through the Netherlands Trust Fund V (NTF V) project. NTF V provides policy support in Senegal to promote an inclusive policy environment for women in the country.
‘This policy dialogue is a framework for proposing integrated solutions to promote economic and financial empowerment of women entrepreneurs for an inclusive, equitable and egalitarian participation of national actors in the development process,’ said Assane Diankha, head of the Trade in Services and E-Commerce Division at the Foreign Trade Department. ‘The results of the workshop will be taken into account in the Ministry of Trade's annual work plan for effective implementation of the action plan.’
Ndeye Khady Sall, director of the Association of Senegalese Women in ICT (FESTIC) , said she was delighted to have participated in the workshop.
‘I'm also relieved that this project is mindful of gender equality, which will further unleash women's potential to seize all the opportunities offered to them by the AfCFTA. This action plan, based on the national strategy, aims to launch the economic transformation of our states for a united, emerging and prosperous Africa.’
About Netherlands Trust Fund V (NTF V)
The Netherlands Trust Fund V (NTF) (July 2021-June 2025) is based on a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands and the International Trade Centre. The programme supports micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) in the digital technologies and agri-food sectors. Its ambition is manifold: to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable transformation of food systems, partially through digital solutions, and drive the internationalization of tech start-ups and export of IT&BPO companies in selected Sub-Saharan African countries.
About ITC SheTrades
The International Trade Centre (ITC) launched the ITC SheTrades Initiative to target all stakeholders in the trade and business ecosystem, so that every woman, everywhere in the world, can benefit from conditions conducive to realizing her full economic potential. ITC SheTrades provides women entrepreneurs and producers with access to key knowledge, resources and networks; supports policymakers on inclusive policy reforms; and leverages public and private partnerships to amplify the impact of its work.