World Trade Organization OMC and the University of Mauritius presents a Virtual Roundtable Discussion themed: "Trade and Finance: Obstacles and Opportunities for Africa"


August 2, 2021

Over the last two decades, multiple crises, from the financial, economic and food crises of 2008-2009, to localized impacts of climate change, epidemics, and now the global COVID-19 pandemic, have left many countries in Africa in debt distress, with little fiscal space to cope or to finance the sustainable development goals (SDGs) post-COVID. Moreover, trade finance has been drying up for several low-income countries, and this trend has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, several initiatives are under way to improve access to trade finance in Africa particularly for MSMEs, women, and youth entrepreneurs. 

This virtual roundtable discussion will look at the relationship between trade and finance and its pivotal role in Africa's economic development. 

It will outline the initiatives aimed at strengthening the coherence of international trade and financial policies. The virtual roundtable will also discuss the current obstacles, trends, developments, and opportunities impacting access to trade finance in the African region. The virtual roundtable aims to share different perspectives from multilateral and regional intergovernmnetal-organizations, and the private sector. 

This virtual roundtable will mark the final substantive discussion of the Online Regional Trade Policy Course (eRTPC) for English-Speaking African Members and Observers of the WTO


Hippolyte FOFACK, Chief Economist and Director, Research and International Cooperation, African Export Import (Afrexim) Bank

Joseph ATTA - MENSAH, Principal Policy Adviser Macroeconomic & Governance Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

Annette SSEMUWEMBA, Deputy Executive Director, Executive Secretariat of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF)

Marc AUBOIN, Counsellor, Coherence and Trade Finance, WTO Secretariat

Marieme-Esther DASSANOU, Manager Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa, African Development Bank (AfDB), Implementing Partner of Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi)

Michal SZYMANSKI, CEO, Mauritius Africa Fintech Hub Board Member, Africa Fintech Network

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, 18 August 2021. 10.00am - 12.15pm (CEST)

REGISTRATION: This online event requires prior registration. Click here to register or copy the link hereunder and paste it into your browser.

PROGRAMME: Click here to access the  detailed programme for this event. 

For more information, click here.