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THE AFRICAN UNION ANNUAL SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES FORUM.

THE AFRICAN UNION ANNUAL SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES FORUM.

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June 27, 2022 to July 01, 2022

“Powering industrialization through SMEs, Women and Youth Entrepreneurs for inclusive development.”

Cairo, Egypt.


1. ABOUT THE ANNUAL SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES FORUM.

Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are highly important drivers of economic growth and development and job creation in African economies. According to the International Finance Cooperation, MSMEs account for up to 90% of all businesses in African markets and as such, remain one of the main sources of employment. MSMEs have remained even more resilient after facing unprecedented economic disruptions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are optimistic about the growth that lies ahead. Unlocking the region’s growth potential will require bridging the credit gap, strengthening SME value chains, and boosting productivity via digitisation, technology adoption, and adaptation. Lastly, specific training workshops that will have a positive impact on African MSMEs is most desirable.

Recognizing the importance of private sector-led growth in contributing to Africa’s economic development, the 20th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Conference of African Ministers of Industry (CAMI 20) on the theme: ‘’Accelerating Industrialization for Africa within the Post-2015 Development Agenda’’, identified industrialization as the basis for development, with the private sector playing a critical role in supporting sustainable industrialization. To harness the potential for industrialization to contribute to Africa’s economic development, CAMI directed the Member States to create an enabling environment for the creation and operation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Small and Medium-Sized Industries (SMIs) and Place SMEs and SMIs at the centre of private sector-led development.

It is against this background that the African Union Commission developed an SME Development Strategy and Action Plan” which provides policy guidelines for promoting intra-regional and intra-African trade by integrating African MSMEs into regional and global value chains. The vision of the AU SME Strategy is to “develop competitive, diversified and sustainable economies underpinned by dynamic, entrepreneurial and industrial sectors that generate employment, reduce poverty and foster social inclusion”. The AU SME strategy, adopted in February 2019 is formulated to deliver results in the immediate acceleration of investment in value chains and sectors that present comparative advantages and economic growth will lead to minimising poverty and hunger and significantly create job opportunities across the continent.







 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT;

Mrs. Ron Osman Omar | Senior Policy Officer Industry, Industry, Innovation, and Minerals Division | Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals Department |African Union Commission |E-mail: OmarR@africa-union.org

Ms. Bulelwa Nkosi |Private Sector and Enterprise Development Associate, Industry, Innovation and Minerals Division | Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals Department |African Union Commission |E-mail: NkosiB@africa-union.org

Gamal Eldin Ahmed A. Kararr | Information and Communication Directorate | African Union Commission | Tel: +251 115 517 700 | E-mail: GamalK@africa-union.org l | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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