Addis Ababa – The Economic Commission for Africa on Thursday launched an online trading platform that will facilitate trade between buyers and suppliers when the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) launches next year.
The e-commerce platform Business-to-Business, known as the African Trade Exchange (ATEX), will not only improve cross-border trading, but also provide quality products from verified African suppliers in an efficient way at lower average trading costs based on AfCFTA rules.
The purpose of its creation was to provide a market for buyers and suppliers to trade and buy products from the mainland according to the AfCFTA rules, said Almoustapha Cisse, Acting Director of the ECA, Division of Technology, Innovation , publication and knowledge said. The management, who did the presentation.
He said the Afreximbank, with which he is collaborating to deliver the project, will serve as a broker for most of the payment systems and logistics that are currently a major challenge for the continent.
ECA’s director of regional integration and trade, Stephen Karingi, spoke about the importance of electronic mode and described how small small businesses in Africa went digital during the COVID-19 pandemic when supply chains were broken and they had to identify new ones.
“One of the things we saw during this COVID-19 is the importance of having credible supply chains, ‘and you can not have credible supply chains unless businesses work together,'” he said. can help anchor AfCFTA starting trading on January 1, 2021.
For Vitalis Uzor, representative of Afreximbank, “payments are critical to international trade.” According to him, ATEX would develop an ecosystem of banks on the continent to support the traditional payment mechanisms for transactions completed on the platform.
In his own remarks, Francis Mangeni, Head of Trade Promotions and Programs at the AfCFTA Secretariat, expressed confidence in the successful operation of integrated payment systems in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the common market for East and Southern Africa ( COMESA), it would also provide an efficient and profitable platform for the continent.
Ngone Diop, the director of the ECA’s sub-regional office in West Africa, also said the platform has the potential to deliver an inclusive and shared prosperity that promises to leave no Afrikaner behind.
The AfCFTA offers Africa the opportunity to create the world’s largest free trade area, with the potential to unite more than 1.2 billion people, in an economic bloc of $ 2.5 billion and usher in a new era of development lazy. The AfCFTA has the potential to generate several benefits by supporting trade creation, structural transformation, productive employment and poverty reduction.
The agreement entered into force on 30 May 2019 after it was ratified by the required 22 countries. Currently, 54 countries have signed, and 30 countries have ratified it.