Text which reads 'One Trade Africa: Empowering African businesses' against a red, yellow and green background

ONE TRADE AFRICA: Connecting the African business community with the AfCFTA



    The African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA) is now a reality and the International Trade Centre (ITC) is poised to play a central role in its implementation..

    ITC has developed an umbrella programme, the ONE TRADE AFRICA (OTA) to empower MSMEs, women and youth to access the opportunities unfolding under the new single market. 

    OTA is an integrated package of technical assistance solutions that ITC is offering to the African business community operating in both the formal and informal sectors to enable them to understand the opportunities of the AfCFTA and to build the capacity of enterprises and entrepreneurs to export across Africa and beyond. 


    Sustainable Development Goals

    This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals, as defined by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


    Maximizing the benefits of African regional integration for MSMEs, women and youth

    ITC holds AfCFTA Forum in Harare Zimbabwe to engage women entrepreneurs in Southern Africa.
    ITC - OTA programme

    The African continent is creating the largest free trade area in the world. Once in full operation the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will connect 1.3 billion people across 55 African countries with a combined gross domestic product of $3.4 trillion.


    Implementation of the Agreement comes as African countries are grappling with the triple-C crisis of Covid-19, climate change and conflict. This provides African countries with an occasion to reconfigure and diversify their production and trade and prioritize the development of robust and resilient intra-African supply chains.

    One Trade Africa

    Although the AfCFTA has been operational since 2021, most African businesses are neither informed nor empowered to access market opportunities. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), especially led by women and youth, need access to information, resources, skills, assets, credit, and economic opportunities.

    AfCFTA in figures
    ITC - OTA programme

    The One Trade Africa approach

    3 programmatic levels of the OTA programme
    ITC - OTA programme

    “One Trade Africa”, ITC’s corporate programme launched in 2021 sets out to empower and enable African MSMEs, as well as young and women entrepreneurs to access meaningful business opportunities created by the AfCFTA.

    The programme is designed to support Africa to advance on ONE coherent framework that encompasses not only the AfCFTA, but also the Regional Economic Community (REC) Free Trade Area Agreements, the building blocks of the AfCFTA, and trade arrangements between Africa and the rest of the world. This is to ensure convergence with a unified goal of boosting the competitiveness of African MSMEs and their participation in both intra- and extra-African trade.



    Adapting ITC tools for an integrated African market

    The One Trade Africa programme is a critical initiative of the ITC Strategic Plan 2022-2025, broadening opportunities for African small businesses and tailoring ITC tools and services to the African continent through supporting businesses to incorporate Green and Digital Goals.

    A look at ITC’s working areas on the AfCFTA.
    ITC - OTA programme

    Our Achievements

    A look at the role of MSMEs in Africa’s economy.
    ITC - OTA programme


    One Trade Africa centres around Africa’s private sector, because it is the key driver for the success of the Free Trade Area. ITC particularly supports small businesses, young entrepreneurs, and women, especially those operating in the informal sector. 


    We can only achieve systemic change when we empower women and youth in their economic transformation.
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    One Trade Africa Achievements
    ITC - OTA programme

    Video Playlist

    One Trade Africa

    One Trade Africa 14 8 April 2021


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    ITC contact

    lsommer [at] intracen.org