THE African Continental Free Trade agreement which came into place on 1st January 2021 is a great opportunity for African SMEs especially those supplying nutritious foods because it offers a platform for them to grow and shape their food system in a way that is more equitable, sustainable and nutritious, Dr. Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition has said.
Dr. Haddad made the remarks at the launch of Nutrition Conversations Africa recently. This is a platform that will enable exchange of ideas on best practices for nutrition in Africa.
The initial webinar under this platform addressed ways in which nutritious food SMEs can take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Many SMEs in Africa fail to launch off efficiently or totally fail to launch fully due to challenges arising from financing. The African Development Bank (AfDB) through the Directory of Agriculture and Agro-Industry has made it possible for African SMEs in the food and nutrition sector to access finances that will enable them to scale up their businesses and offer more efficient services to the consumers.
“We have three programmes that have come into effect as a result of the African Continental Free Trade agreement; One is the wholesale credit guarantee schemes which will see the AfDB guarantee up to 80 per cent pay back on financing for banks supporting SMEs in nutrition.
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