SMEs key for Sudan’s ability to harness the AfCFTA


The Economic Commission for Africa office for North Africa and the Sudanese ministry of Trade launched on 18 December in Khartoum a four-day, joint workshop on Export Promotion and Access to Finance for the benefit of 50 Sudanese SME owners, mostly women.

The workshop aims to strengthen Sudanese SMEs’ capacity to trade with the rest of the African continent and the world, seize new export opportunities within the framework of the AfCFTA and contribute to the transformation of the national industrial sector. Sudanese exports, which consist mostly of primary commodities such as gold, oil seeds or cattle, are currently very low, below 3% of GDP in 2021. Most exports go to China and Gulf countries, and only less than 20% to Africa, with Egypt being the main export destination on the continent. To help SMEs move upwards in the value chain, the training focuses on market access in Africa and product development strategies for SMEs as well as their access to finance.

“In an enabling environment, SMEs have a high potential for creating employment and innovation. They can also contribute to reducing poverty and to empowering the poor so that they can realize their productive capacities and integration into society, said Zuzana Brixiova Schwidrowski, Director of the ECA office for North Africa. “It is imperative that the climate for SMEs start-ups and growth is enhanced considerably, with the assistance of the public sector and key players in the private sector, especially finance”, she added.

Published on: Tralac

Publication date: 21/12/22