CAWEE KAS Discussed on Women’s Protocol under the AfCFTA

CAWEE in partnership with KAS organized breakfast meeting on the theme: “Protocol on Women and Youth in Trade and Inclusivity”, under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, May 25, 2024 at the Sheraton Addis, Ethiopia.

Moderated by Dr. Martha Belete, Assistant Professor, School of Law, Addis Ababa University, the 3 speakers of the panel were Ms. Bethlehem Abraham, from GIZ Ethiopia Office, Mr. Michael Tilhaun from British Embassy Ethiopia and Mr. Aboo Badhasa from Ministry of Justice Ethiopia.

Speakers highlighted the unique provisions of the protocol, where the preamble has much focused in highlighting the challenges women & youth face and coming out with proposed provisions to respond to those challenges, setting in place substantive laws and institutional arrangements that can put pressure on State Parties and the concerned ones to act accordingly for women to benefit from the AfCFTA.

In highlighting the provisions of the Protocol, speakers underlined issue areas mentioned in the Protocol: access to finance, access to information, access to digital trade, institutional arrangements, etc., in enhancing the competitiveness of women traders thus, women powerfully & meaningfully start to benefit from the provisions of the AfCFTA.

During the plenary discussion, participants had the opportunity to provide their opinions and reflections, where the role of Civil Society organizations in taking part in the preparation of such protocols & mechanisms for accountability of Governments, the need for continued advocacy, the need for the creation of conducive business environment were raised and underlined, taking this agenda within the entire eco-system & eco-trading platform.

In concluding the panel discussion, the Guest of Honor, Excellency Ben Marc, Ambassador to the AU, Embassy of Canada to Ethiopia delivered his closing remarks on the importance of such gathering, where we all need to do our level best in economically empowering African women, where he underlined and recommended the need in appointing a Special Envoy – a pan-African woman for the AfCFTA.