Press releases

ITC and Afreximbank launch “How to Export” training programme at IATF2021

18 November 2021
ITC News

(Durban/South Africa, 15 November 2021) The International Trade Centre (ITC), in partnership with the African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank), today launched a new training programme for small businesses on how to export within the African Continental Free Area (AfCFTA).

The two organizations launched the programme at the Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 which is taking place in Durban, South Africa until 21 November 2021. The training programme aims to break down trade barriers for previously under-represented groups.

The How to Export with the AfCFTA training programme has been developed with African enterprises in mind. Its overall aim is to support the operationalization of the AfCFTA and to equip small businesses with the skills to seize the export opportunities presented by the new trading environment.

Afreximbank and ITC launched the pilot of this programme in Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, and Rwanda in 2020. Within a week of its unveiling, the high level of interest in the learning contents was quickly apparent, with approximately 1,500 applications for the course received in the first few days.

Designed using a problem-solving approach, the new training programme uses case studies to examine key export concepts in relation to enterprises and the challenges faced in the export field.

The concepts include export readiness, market research, market development, market access conditions, trade finance and international logistics. Entrepreneurs will benefit from its focus on intra-African export operations and advantages related to intra-regional trade.

ITC and Afreximbank have made the programme’s online component freely available on the Afreximbank Academy online platform to ensure that previously marginalized groups including women and youth have access.

Following the successful implementation of the pilot phase, phase two will include the translation of the programme, currently available in English and French, into Arabic and Portuguese. It will also expand its online component to all 55 African countries.

“The How to Export with the AfCFTA training programme is crucial in empowering African small businesses and accelerating intra-African trade. Besides a shortage of working capital, small businesses consistently report difficulties in identifying foreign business opportunities and an inability to analyse export markets as the biggest barriers to exporting. Providing them with information, knowledge and tools to overcome the challenges of international trade, the training programme will play a pivotal role in enabling them to contribute to the Agreement’s success.”
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre

About Afreximbank

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that support the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialization and intra-regional trade, thereby boosting economic expansion in Africa. The Bank has a rich history of intervening in support of African countries in times of crisis. Through the Pandemic Trade Impact Mitigation Facility (PATIMFA) launched in April 2020, Afreximbank has disbursed more than US$6.5 billion in 2020 to help member countries manage the adverse impact of financial, economic, and health shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A stalwart supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Afreximbank has completed the development of a Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) that was adopted by the African Union (AU) as the payment and settlement platform to underpin the implementation of the AfCFTA. Afreximbank is working with the AU and the AfCFTA Secretariat to develop an Adjustment Facility to support countries in effectively participating in the AfCFTA. At the end of 2020, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at US$21.5 billion, and its shareholder funds amounted to US$3.4 billion. Afreximbank disbursed more than US$42 billion between 2016 and 2020. The Bank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.

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About the International Trade Centre

The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

About the How to Export Training Programme

The “How to Export with the AfCFTA” Training Programme combines both online and offline elements to teach current and prospective African exporters the fundamentals of intra-African trade, as well as explore the opportunities resulting from the AfCFTA.

It is designed using a problem-solving approach in which participants use case studies to examine major export concepts as they relate to enterprises, including export readiness, market research, market development, market access conditions, trade finance and international logistics. Its unique value-added lies in its singular focus on intra-African export operations, with a specific emphasis on the ways in which enterprises can reap the advantage of intra-regional trade.