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Kenya: AfCFTA pledges $10 billion for SME support

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat has pledged $10 billion to empower youth-led SMEs in Africa.

The secretariat has already earmarked $150 million to support young entrepreneurs’ ventures in Africa and seeks to expand its funding pool through collaborations with institutions like the United Bank of Africa and the Africa Exim Bank.

At an event welcoming Kenya’s President, H.E. Dr. William Ruto to the AfCFTA Secretariat, Secretary General Wamkele Mene underscored the secretariat’s commitment to fostering youth-led businesses across Africa.

“We’re signing an MOU with United Bank of Africa, where they are committed to disburse 7 billion dollars to SMEs that are led by young people. It has been reported to us that already 150 million dollars under this fund has been disbursed. We will mobilize up to 10 billion dollars to ensure in the implementation of AfCTA, young people are at the centre to benefit.”

The President of Kenya, Dr. William Ruto expressed readiness to collaborate with President Akufo-Addo to ensure all financial establishments under the African Union are ratified to facilitate trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.

“I want to specifically underscore the importance of us working together and building synergies and creating institutions. I will be working with President Akufo-Addo to make sure that all financial institutions under the AU, from the fund to the bank, to the insurers are all ratified. So that we can build the necessary financial ecosystem to support trade, investments and businesses in our continent.”

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