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In a comprehensive research paper titled “Repositioning Women in Trade Under the AfCFTA,” Mr. Gerald Ekow Woode, Director of Research, Policy, and Advocacy at the Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference, has shed light on the hurdles encountered by women in trade, particularly within the ambit of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Addressing a pressing concern, Mr. Woode highlighted language barriers as a significant impediment for women traders. He noted, “Many women in trade in Ghana do not speak French, putting them at a disadvantage when they meet with French-speaking partners along the borders.” This observation underscores the tangible challenges faced by female traders due to linguistic disparities, potentially limiting their trading opportunities and cross-border collaborations.
Moreover, the research paper delved into the issue of access to agricultural services, revealing another critical hurdle for women in trade. Mr. Woode emphasized, “Female traders primarily engaged in agriculture struggle to obtain the necessary resources, impacting their productivity and hindering their potential growth in the manufacturing sector.” This limitation in accessing essential resources such as credit, market information, and technical support poses a significant barrier to the advancement of women in trade, inhibiting their participation in value chains and economic growth.The findings unveiled by Mr. Woode’s research underscore the urgent need to address these challenges to empower women traders and harness their full potential within the AfCFTA framework. By acknowledging and tackling barriers such as language disparities and limited access to agricultural services, policymakers and stakeholders can foster an enabling environment conducive to the active involvement of women in trade. Such measures are crucial for promoting inclusive economic growth and realizing the objectives of the AfCFTA, ensuring that women play a pivotal role in driving Africa’s economic development forward He stated.
BY : YUSUFF MUFIDAT