Nigeria: ICD, a-Etrade Seal U.S.$20 Billion Pact On Intra-African Trade

18 February 2020

The Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDBG), and the African Electronic Trade Group (Ae-Trade Group) and have signed a $20 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Action Plan 2020-2022.

The A-eTrade Group is a major Public-Private Partnership (PPP) recognised by the African Union (AU) Commission as an e-platform for deepening and promoting intra-African trade and economic integration.

The MoU was signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the ICD representative and Senior Advisor to the corporation's Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ikbal Daredia, and the Chief Executive Office and Chairman of the A-eTrade Group, Mr. Mulualem Syoum, during the 33rd Ordinary Session of the African Union Heads of State Summit.

Among the dignitaries that witnessed the signing were the Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Amb. Albert Muchanga, as well as Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe, Secretary-General of COMESA, Ms. Treasure Maphanga, A-eTrade Director, the A-eTrade Group Host countries and the African Union Commission.

The scope of the cooperation envisaged in the MoU provides for a landmark contribution to Africa's economic structural transformation, when fully executed, including enabling SMEs in Africa, especially women and youths, to be active participants and beneficiaries of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

According to analysts, the deal will no doubt have a positive impact on the implementation of the Africa Union SME Strategy which was endorsed by the AU Summit of Heads of State and Government in February, 2019.

Against the backdrop of the launch of the Operational Phase of AfCFTA on July 7, 2019, in Niamey, Niger, the coming on stream of the financial support valued at $20bn over the next 10 years is a major boost to the A-eTrade programme in partnership with African countries across the continent.

Commissioner Albert Muchanga commended the parties for the bold initiative and their commitment to accompany the AU in its quest to improve the lives of ordinary citizens.

He urged the stakeholders to work with other key stakeholders like Afreximbank which have designed instruments to support the implementation of AfCFTA.

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