AeTrade Group drives economic empowerment through digitalization and partnerships across the continent.
The African E-Trade Group (AeTrade) is leading efforts to enhance intra-African and international trade by promoting job creation, digital inclusion, and leveraging the power of technology. Through multi-stakeholder collaboration, the group aims to empower African entrepreneurs and facilitate the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to drive economic growth and increase trade opportunities within the continent.
AeTrade: Inclusion and accessibility
AeTrade Group organized a sensitization forum at the UNECA, focusing on accelerating job creation, digital inclusion, and financial accessibility in alignment with the implementation of AfCFTA. Mulualem Syoum, CEO of AeTrade, highlighted the group’s mission to harness the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the benefit of present and future African entrepreneurs. He emphasized the role of digitalization in driving growth and boosting both intra-African and global trade.
In collaboration with the African Union (AU), AeTrade launched the digital marketplace platform Sokokuu in 2020. The online platform serves as a hub for African producers to showcase and sell their products, fostering intra-African trade. Syoum emphasized the significance of digital platforms, stating that within the next seven years, 95 percent of global trade will be conducted digitally. AeTrade aims to support member states and enable African SMEs to engage in digital trade, contributing to a knowledge-based economy.
Affordable finance is a crucial aspect of AeTrade’s vision, and the group seeks to achieve its goals through partnerships and affiliations. Syoum expressed the group’s ambition to create between 80 to 225 million jobs in the next 15 years by providing an enabling environment for SMEs, facilitating market knowledge, and leveraging digital platforms.
During the session, Nigussu Tilahun, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Labor and Skills, affirmed the government’s commitment to job creation initiatives. Ethiopia has developed a national plan of action and hosted job summits, fostering collaboration among labor market stakeholders to address challenges and celebrate successes.
Anthony Pedro, Acting Secretary General of the United Nations Economic Mission for Africa (UNECA), emphasized the importance of job creation strategies in response to Africa’s growing workforce. With an estimated 450 million productive human resources in Africa by 2035, governments must prioritize job creation options and leverage opportunities like the AfCFTA.
The African E-Trade Group (AeTrade) envisions a digitally empowered Africa that drives intra-African trade and economic development. Through collaboration, innovation, and strategic partnerships, the group aims to unlock the continent’s economic potential and ensure inclusive growth.
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