Unpacking the African Continental Free Trade Agreement for smme’s
Are we as African entrepreneurs ready to make the most of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement? How can the entrepreneurship community take it into their own hands to ensure there is a material benefit for entrepreneurs as a result of this agreement?
The overarching objective of the AfCFTA is the elimination or reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade amongst the countries that agreed to be members of the agreement, therefore creating a more enabling environment for intercontinental trade. For small and growing businesses, this is a game-changer!
Bernadette Zeiler is the CEO and Head of International Trade at the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She joined the JCCI in 2006, looking for an expansion plan for her business. She participated in a programme, “Access for Women” at the JCCI. Through this programme and other programmes at the JCCI, Bernadette travelled to 20 countries in Africa and Cuba, exhibiting at Arab Health in 2016, India and America. We are privileged to be hosting Bernadette at this session and cannot wait to hear her advice for entrepreneurs trying to grow their international footprint.
Our guest from Botswana is Katlego Mokgethi, Founder and Executive Director of Market Players. Market Players Botswana is an entrepreneurship development program committed to reducing the failure rate of citizen-owned businesses in Botswana.
Katlego is passionate about the prosperity of Botswana entrepreneurs and has an in-depth understanding of how business is done in her country. We look forward to engaging her on what symbiotic opportunities there are for African entrepreneurs in Botswana.
Lehlé Baldé is a global citizen actively contributing to Agendas 2030 and 2063 with a specialization in communication for development, journalism with a focus on business, entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, impact investing amongst others. She was named top 50 women in media in Africa by the Media Awards and was selected to be 1 of 23 Acumen fellows a group of impact-driven leaders tackling the world’s greatest problems. Lehlè currently works at West Africa’s leading provider of business intelligence and news, Business Day Media Limited, as the editor of the Weekender.
Azola Mzekandaba is a Mandela Washington Fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative 2019, Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans 2019 and also a Programme Manager in the Local Economic Development Division at Property Point. One of his notable achievements was as project manager for an organisation working on the provision of mobile health care services for former mine workers in rural and remote areas in South Africa. The programme was so well-received that in 2016 and 2017 it was scaled up to include other SADC regions, specifically Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana. He is passionate and well versed about the prosperity of the African