Boosting intra-African trade and regional value chains
Helping local enterprises build capacity so they can expand their market knowledge, export readiness and business linkages, as well as creating a favourable business environment, are key elements to the further development of intra-African trade and regional value chains, according to Jacky Charbonneau, of the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Enterprise Competitiveness section.
ITC has contributed to these goals by setting up projects in Africa aimed at building capacities for regional integration, supporting women exporters, linking agri-business to the tourism sector and regional retail industry, as well as promoting the understanding of the legal framework, Charbonneau said during a workshop on further developing intra-African trade and regional value chains at the AgriBusiness Forum 2012. The AgriBusiness Forum 2012 was held on 25-27 November in Dakar, Senegal, and is the largest annual pan-African agri-business conference. It aims at strengthening the continent's agri-food industry by encouraging partnerships, exchanging best practices and attracting investments.
ITC seeks to reduce poverty in Africa through trade development and ensuring sustainable export success among the continent's small and medium-sized enterprises, Charbonneau said. ITC’s strategic objectives include building awareness and understanding of market conditions, boosting the capacity of trade support institutions to aid exporters and strengthen exporter competitiveness, while enhancing the public-private sector dialogue and mainstreaming inclusiveness and sustainability, he said at the forum.
Charbonneau said that, with a population set to more than double to reach 2.3 billion people by 2050, and amid the economic slowdown in industrialised nations, ‘the time is ripe to capture value in, by and for Africa’.