African youths are the catalytic force that would propel the full realisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This is according to the President of the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Okey Oramah during an opening address to the Afreximbank 2022 Annual Meetings in Cairo, Egypt.
“A youth powered AfCFTA will trigger a continental economic expansion; and whether the next decade will become lost decade for Africa will depend on how we creatively deploy the energies and tenacity of our youth to implement the AfCFTA agreement.”
“We are happy that the protocol on the youth will be negotiated under the AfCFTA. That will provide a great opportunity to formalise the integration of the youth into the continent wide agenda. As the youths are technologically savvy, and we believe that it is technology that will bring down the borders, Afreximbank and the AfCFTA secretariat have started to implement a digital AfCFTA called the Africa Trade Gateway. This will offer the opportunity for the youths to access African market, access payment services and access credit. It is our view that the youths will be catalytic force to the realisation of the AfCFTA agenda,” said Oramah
In his address he reiterated that Africa has youths who are talented whom if supported would make Africa as a continent to shine. “The African youths are poised to make a giant leap in a single continental market and could seamlessly become the drivers of African integration and intra-African trade. Policies that give them intellectual property protection, ease cost of doing business, as well as improved access to market will unleash the power of the youth on the continent,” reiterated Oramah.
During this event Afreximbank launched the ‘How-to-Export within the AfCFTA’ initiative, which in partnership with the International Trade Centre, Afreximbank will train small businesses and young entrepreneurs in Africa to participate in the AfCFTA.
“At Afreximbank, we are promoting industry through dedicated $500 million funding that is currently being implemented,” Oramah added.