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Opportunities for Africa Entrepreneurs in New funding challenge

African Innovators have an opportunity to get funding for their ideas through the new Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Vision Challenge.
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African Innovators have an opportunity to get funding for their ideas through the new Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Vision Challenge.

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

The challenge seeks Africa innovators and entrepreneurs who have compelling solutions to challenges affecting the continent’s Intra Africa trade.

Some of the areas identified to drive the AfCFTA agenda include Agriculture and Food Security, Education and Skills, Natural Capital and Environment, Technology among other sectors all aimed at advancing Intra – Africa trade.

Potential Investment in the ideas selected will be by Africa’s leading Development Finance Institutions & Banks that include AfDB, TDB, Afreximbank, BADEA, AFC, Equity Bank, Ecobank, CIB among others.

Contestants only have to register for an AfCFTA number at no cost at www.afcfta.app and then submit their entry through the online portal (https://www.afcfta.blog/challenge) to participate.

There are two deadlines for the submission of Ideas that include November 27, 2020, for the first round and December 30, 2020, for the last round.

The aCCRA AfCFTA Secretariat has partnered with the Sankoree Institute of AfroChampions and the AU Open Corridors Initiative to create the AfCFTA Vision platform.

“It is true that Africa has seen a number of trade agreements at the regional level, but AfCFTA is different because it is being set up as the ultimate program to fulfill the dreams of the Founders of the African Union: a truly single market big and strong enough to compete for the biggest of global opportunities. The launch of the AfCFTA the Vision Challenge to resource our innovators and entrepreneurs with the key instruments to drive trade on the continent shows the unique passion being invested in this enterprise,” said Francis Mangeni, Director of Trade Promotion and Programs at the Accra-based AfCFTA Secretariat.

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The move comes as the secretariat is gearing towards launching a global one-stop-technology platform that will link Innovators and SMEs to possible partners for their innovative projects that can boost trade across the continent.

The platform dubbed AfCFTA App will issue a mark of identity to every organization or businesses interested in benefiting from AfCFTA to ease ways of doing business and getting partnerships across Africa, export and import goods under the low duty regime, and satisfy some “know-your-customer” requirements at banks and financial institutions.

The app will go live on January 1, 2021.

AfCFTA is the world’s largest trade block with a membership of 54 out of the 55 African Union nations.

Once fully operational, economists say AfCFTA would considerably expand intra-Africa trade whilst helping the continent move up the value chain in multiple industries, helping achieve the vision of Agenda 2063 of a united, prosperous, continent relating on equal footing with its peers on the global stage.

“Building on our AVRIVA initiative (www.avriva.org) in partnership with the Africa Union’s Open Corridors Initiative, we are opening a new chapter in the continental economic integration process,” said Paulo Gomes, co-Chairman of AfroChampions, “one in which broad alliances powered by technology shall completely change Africa’s reputation for signing agreements that it struggles to execute.”

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