The European Business Council for Africa

Report of a session organised by International Trade Centre (ITC), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on September 27, 2022, as part of the WTO Public Forum 2022: Towards a sustainable and inclusive recovery.

This session debated how African policymakers can set the rules of the game to ensure that implementation of the AfCFTA furthers sustainability goals and economic opportunities for businesses. To ensure sustainable gains from the AfCFTA, complementary interventions will be required to support Africa’s MSMEs to compete in a new green world. Among other issues, speakers discussed ways to incentivise firms and entrepreneurs to incorporate green production methods and adopt new green technologies.

Panellists discussed the impact of climate change in Africa and the importance of adapting to climate change, particularly for MSMEs. It was stressed that efforts should include helping MSMEs make the necessary investments for climate change adaptation. Panellists highlighted initiatives taking place to help MSMEs comply with sustainable standards and broaden their market penetration. Some of these include UNCTAD and ECA trade policy centre’s joint project to incorporate green value chains. In addition, panellists mentioned the various opportunities that have been created to address climate change such as the shift to low carbon technologies.

On the panel were Melaku Desta, Coordinator, African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC); Robert Hamwey, Economic Affairs Officer, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); Hermogene Nsengimana, Secretary General, African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO); Annalisa Primi, Head of Economic Transformation and Development, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director, International Trade Centre (ITC).

Please read the full report here