The ECA and Africa Sports Unified (ASU) have launched the Programme of Work on Sports and Trade to leverage the ability for sport to support the inclusive implementation of the AfCFTA. The program targets the youth, women and girls and persons with disabilities.
The programme aims to explore and leverage the linkage between the AfCFTA and sport through knowledge generation and stakeholder engagement. The programme will throw more light on how sports can promote regional cooperation. It will also highlight the role of sports in entrepreneurship, employability, and innovation. Other areas include manufacturing and ultimately inclusive intra-African trade.
Also, it will explore opportunities the AfCFTA brings to address the multidimensional challenges young people and women face in Africa. This will help them obtain quality jobs and decent wages by creating new opportunities for intra-African trade. This will cut across manufacturing and services sectors in the African sports industry.
Furthermore, it will address the limited access youth and women have to professional associations and resources that can support their participation in trade. At the same time, it will focus on the transfer of knowledge from leading research on entrepreneurship and innovation. This will include training and skills development.
Also, under the initiative, the ECA will pair mentors with mentees to work together towards achieving their mutually agreed objectives. The mentees have an opportunity to learn from an industry expert in various aspects of the sports and trade economy. This will help them identify career paths and opportunities or to advance an entrepreneurial idea.
Meanwhile, the Mentee applications opened on April 21, 2021 and closes on May 17, 2021. The applications are opened to young people aged 18 and above who have interest in pursuing a career in sports and trade. The programme commences on 14 June after a week-long induction course.
As part of the programme, the ECA and ASU will convene a Sports & Trade Roundtable on April 29, 2021 from 16:00 to 18:00 (EAT). The aim is to explore the opportunities of leveraging the ability of sport to empower youth, women and people with disabilities. This will expose them to new employment opportunities, skills development and entrepreneurship facilitated by the AfCFTA.
Moreover, the ECA noted that it is an opportunity for dialogue amongst pioneers and thought leaders within African sports development. It will help explore and identify collaborative solutions to the current challenges in developing the African sports ecosystem. This is mainly through the inclusive implementation of the AfCFTA.
The ECA also launched a podcast series on AfCFTA and Sport to support engagement of youth and women in the AfCFTA implementation. The podcast series features industry experts and organisations within the field of AfCFTA. It also covered experts from sports, youth, trade, policy, technology and entrepreneurship.