The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat and the United Bank of Africa have signed an agreement to support Small and Medium Enterprises in Africa with 6 billion dollars to scale up and expand into multinational companies.
According to the Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Wamkele Mene, the SMEs will be provided with access to the global markets and capital to enable them to grow.
The agreement signed by the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat and UBA is aimed at giving the private sector the opportunity to strongly participate and benefit from the AfCFTA.
Agro-processing, Automotive, Pharmaceuticals, transport and logistics are the key sectors the agreement is focusing on.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Wamkele Mene said the agreement would help SMEs to contribute to socio-economic development.
“The SMEs that are supported by UBA will access global markets, global capital, latest technology as well as get the capital that they will require”, he mentioned.
He also underscored the need to rope in the informal sector to benefit from the opportunities presented by AfCFTA, adding that the sector contributes largely to the growth of every developing economy.
Group Deputy Managing Director of UBA, Muyiwa Akinyemi, added that SMEs are the backbone of every growing economy, hence the need to support them to scale up.
The agreement is expected to boost intra-African trade and help African economies to grow.