Cape verde


The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) is aimed at creating a single market for goods and services among African countries, with 1.3 billion people and a projected $6.7 trillion market size by 2030. It is anticipated to boost intra-Africa trade by 52% and scale up manufacturing, industrialization, skilled employment, and global export market competitiveness.

Cape Verde to a great extent has showed commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment. It is signatory of several related covenant and agreement at the multilateral and regional level, domestically, the constitution and other key laws guarantee equal rights for women and men. In Cape Verde, women are known as bread winner in their family. However, they face numerous challenges.

  1. Women are less likely to be entrepreneurs and face more disadvantages starting and operating a business. In 40% of economies, women’s early-stage entrepreneurial activity is half or less than half of that of men. Micro entrepreneurs make upto 90% of businesses in Africa with most of them operating in the informal sector, over 48.7% micro entrepreneurs are women. It is evident that women are major players in Informal Cross Border Trade.
  2. It is also evident that Women in Informal Cross Border Trade operating activities are highly informal and that they face numerous constraints such as sexual violence and harassment and due to weak trade networks and associations for Women in Informal Cross Border Trade, women traders have limited knowledge and information on the key provisions of regional trade agreements. They also lack a general understanding of existing trade facilitation instruments and their applicability

Project Mission

  1. Achieve gender equality in Cape Verde through women’s participation in regional International Trade.
  2. Reduce sexual violence/harassment among women-owned businesses.
  3. Substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs, and entrepreneurship.
  4. Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment
  5. Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels.

Project Vision

Ensure the integration of 5,000 Women entrepreneurs in Cape Verde into African Continental Free Trade Area within 3 years of project execution. Our Strategic Approach to Support Women Entrepreneurs

  1. Access to Market: Through our dedicated e-commerce platform, businesses/women would be able to interconnect with other registered women entrepreneurs in another African region.
  2. Access to International Trade Finance: Provision of such as factoring, invoice discounting and asset-based line credit.
  3. Integrate Capacity Building Program: integrating capacity-building programs to empower women owned-businesses. These efforts will emphasize market-driven information and technical, trade and business knowledge as critical aspects in the successful conduct of intra-regional trade.
  4. Advocacy: Engage with civil society organization, economic empowerment groups and public sectors to advocate to national governments on the ratification and implementation of the AfCFTA information as it relates to the AfCFTA. Women entrepreneur would also be given opportunities to participate in regional platforms such as international trade fairs and networks as a means of identifying niche markets under the AfCFTA.
  5. Provide Technical support: This is in response to low productive capacities (both quantity and quality) and inability to compete in regional value chains. Technical knowledge on intra-regional trade is important to address such bottlenecks, such that, women entrepreneurs need to be capacitated on packaging, labelling and certification of their products in a way that meets the minimum standards for Intra-regional trade.