RWANDA – The African Electronic Trade Group (the A-eTrade Group) which also includes the African e-Commerce Development International, has announced that it has accepted the offer of the Government of Rwanda to host the continental headquarters.
The announcement is one of the significant events of the Second Africa Integration Day and this follows the last announcement exactly two years ago in Niger, Niamey when the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Republic of Guinea were awarded the regional headquarters for Southern Africa and West Africa respectively bringing the total number of host governments to four, leaving the regional offices for North Africa and Central Africa vacant for now.
After an open and transparent process to invite all AU Member States to express interest which was launched in October 2019, the AeTrade Group received fourteen written expressions of interest and three verbal expressions bringing the total to seventeen countries.
After physical and virtual exploratory missions were held with all the interested countries, and a rigorous review of the offers submitted by candidate countries, the High-Level Panel recommended two countries be considered by the AeTrade Group Board of Directors on the 25th of June 2021.
The AeTrade Group Board met on the 29th of June 2021 and pronounced itself on the outcome of the competitive bidding process.
“ On behalf of the AeTrade Group and we wish to extend our warmest congratulations to the Government and the people of Rwanda for winning the bid. We thank all seventeen countries for their confidence in us and look forward to working with all AU Member States in line with our partnership with the African Union to ensure an inclusive approach to building digital capacities at the grassroots to enable SMEs, Women and Youth to be key players in the emerging digital economy in Africa. “ said, Mr. Mulualem Syoum, CEO and Chairman of the AeTrade Group.
The AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining also congratulated the significant progress being made to establish public-private partnerships in support of the implementation of AU regional integration initiatives.
“We also congratulate the Government of Rwanda for their significant achievement and look forward to working with all AU member states as they harness digital technologies and enabling policy measures including the African Continental Free Trade Area in order to create millions of jobs, especially for the youth across the continent.”
In response, Minister for ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire thanked the AeTrade Group and the African Union Commission for their confidence in the vision of Rwanda to become the continental e-trade hub.
“We are confident that the AeTrade Group initiatives fully align with the Government of Rwanda’s agenda to become an ICT and logistics hub. Therefore, the Republic of Rwanda commits to provide the required support to ensure the success of the initiative. We look forward to welcoming you to Rwanda and from here to facilitate the implementation of the AeTrade Group vision towards productive impact to continental sustainable economic development inspired by the African Union Agenda 2063.”
The African E-Trade Group (AeTrade) is a multi-stakeholder group of African professionals and business people with a vision to develop and implement an e-empowerment program that will enhance intra-and inter-African trade.
The group brings together public and private sector partners to develop projects that leverage the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for the benefit of Africa’s present and future entrepreneurs.