A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Equity Group Holding and the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfTCTA) has been inked to expedite the KSh678 billion ($6 billion) Regional Private Sector Economic Recovery and Resilience Stimulus Plan.
As part of the partnership, Equity Group will concentrate on key strategic pillars like manufacturing, trade, investment, MSMEs, social and environmental transformation, and fostering technology-enabled economies. These pillars include agriculture and the extractive industries, manufacturing and logistics, and trade and investment.
James Mwangi, MD and CEO of Equity Group Holdings, stressed the value of regional integration during his remarks during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) ceremony held in Lusaka, Zambia.
“The coming together of AfCFTA and Equity Group gives us an opportunity to serve our motherland through integrating trade in the region through our communities & the various trading blocks, we want to be resilient for future shocks so we are proposing to build back better by creating one African market, the enabler of wealth creation and expansion of opportunities,” Mwangi said.
“By working together, we shall design frameworks for the socio-economic transformation of the people of the African continent.
“We want Africa to move away from exporting raw materials to value addition. This will create millions of jobs for our young people and add value through manufacturing, agro-processing, and value addition in mining.”
The partnership will, among other things, help to create 50 million jobs by 2025, and 5 million SMEs will receive loans to scale and grow using the AfCFTA Agreement’s tools. It will also generate more private sector lending with an anticipated loan book that will be directed toward agriculture (30%), manufacturing (15%), and MSMEs.
According to Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AFCTA, the continent has the ability to combine its markets in order to better utilize its capabilities and natural resources.
“We look forward to the joint implementation of Equity’s Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan together with Equity and the AUDA. Trade is a main driver of economic activity in Africa,” Mene remarked.
“To accelerate the recovery of the continent, we need to ensure that we are well prepared to respond to any sort of crisis.”
By giving 5 million SMEs access to financing that will enable them to scale and grow their enterprises, Equity’s interventions through the recovery and resilience plan aim to finance and build capacity for such organisations.
Youth and women will receive special attention from the recovery plan, helping them to become the main generators of new and expanded opportunities in the real economy.
The African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) will work with the institutions through a variety of means, including project financing, trade enhancement, and fund mobilization, in its capacity as the continent’s technical interface with Africa’s development stakeholders and development partners for the realisation of accelerated regional integration.
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