Innovations Session N°3

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African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): opportunities for SMEs and businesses in the agrifood sector

The recording of the session is available in English and French on YouTube


Need for increased awareness about AfCFTA amongst operators

Various studies and surveys amongst farmers organisations and SMEs6, point out that there is a low level of awareness and understanding of the Agreement and therefore an insufficient appreciation of the opportunities it presents for businesses. Recommendations point out a great urgency for capacity development programmes to seize new markets and develop new products, otherwise the benefits will only go to larger agribusiness and exclude MSMEs. Limited finance and infrastructure, which hinders the growth of many businesses, should be addressed within AfCFTA as to promote intra-Africa trade and access to African markets. Policy and private actors should raise awareness amongst African entrepreneurs on how they can benefit from the agreement, and what they need to do to comply with the legislation (i.e. rules of origin, monitoring and elimination of non-tariff barriers, tariff concessions).

Key points for discussion on serving African markets

  • How is AfCFTA supporting MSMEs and businesses in the continent?
  • What are the main obstacles for entrepreneurs to serve regional and continental markets and examples on how to overcome them?
  • In serving regional and African markets in fresh and value-added products, what are the priorities for businesses to grow and how innovation helps?
  • What are the key drivers to capture more added value in local market for local businesses?

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Join our Agrinnovators community forum to discuss and explore how to encourage innovations across agricultural value chains to transform food systems in Africa, promote sustainable agriculture, and leverage investment. Share insights, ask questions, and collaborate on innovative solutions for a greener future

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In English

In French


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