The International Trade Centre (ITC) will next year launch the SheTrades programme in Uganda and Egypt bringing the number of COMESA countries implementing the programme to five. The SheTrades initiative provides women entrepreneurs around the world with a unique network and platform to connect to markets.
ITC Deputy Director Mrs Dorothy Tembo revealed this in Lusaka during her address to the 39th COMESA Intergovernmental Committee Meeting.
She said her organisation has implemented a number of trade-related technical assistance projects in COMESA Member States covering Trade Facilitation and Value Chain under the Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM) for Zambia and Comoros respectively.
In the broader ITC work, SheTrades Chapters were launched in Kenya, Rwanda and Zambia as part of efforts to connect three million women to markets by 2021.
ITC also intends to work in collaboration with COMESA for the implementation of the Tripartite COMESA-EAC-SADC Free Trade Area and the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
Under the COMESA Cross Border Trade Initiative, ITC and COMESA signed a co-Delegation Agreement in June 2018 for the implementation of specific activities to help increase formal small scale cross border trade flows at five borders. This is expected to lead to higher revenue collection for governments and higher incomes for the traders.