Angola: MP Backs Implementation, Speedup of Free Trade Zone

Luanda — MP Ruth Mendes Monday defended the need for women parliamentarians to draft laws that can contribute to their empowerment as well as speedup and ensure the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

This was during a roundtable held under the theme “Sharing the wisdom and strength of women for peace building and accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”.

Ruth Mendes emphasised that the focus on women’s empowerment will contribute to improving the conditions of the more than 70% of women working in cross-border trade.

The chairwoman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Defence, National Security, Internal Order, Former Combatants and Veterans of the Homeland, acknowledged that cross-border trade is indeed a reality, citing the example of Luvo, Santa Clara and some trade in eastern Angola.

“The issue of cross-border trade is now beginning to emerge with the free market that Angola has joined. But when it comes to policies aimed at women who practice cross-border trade, there is still no concrete policy regarding the work that should be done with them,” she said.

The MP said that gender equality is a process that in recent times has begun to gain more space, with the appearance of women in decision-making bodies.

The leader of the Women Parliamentarians group Teresa da Silva Neto said, in the context of gender policy, there have been several progress in favour of the protection of African women, with emphasis on the Maputo protocol, adopted in 2013 by the African Union.