Liberia: Vice President Howard-Taylor Addresses AfCFTA Conference; Calls for the Creation of Separate AfCFTA for Gender Issues


Monrovia – Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has addressed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) conference on women and youth scheduled for September 12th to 14th, 2022 in Dar Es Salaam, the United Republic of Tanzania.

Speaking at the conference’s opening session, Madam Vice President called for the creation of the AfCFTA Secretariat for Gender Mainstreaming of women and youth, which will focus on the formulation of specific policies to enhance the empowerment of women and youth.

Madam Vice President, according to a dispatch, emphasized the compelling need for a hands-on approach and collaboration necessary to ensure the actualization and subsequent transformation of the lives of the largest segment of Africa’s population, the women and youth. 

The Liberian Vice President then commended the visionary decision of African leaders to collaborate and diversify economic acceleration through the intra- Africa trade.

She further argued that the success of AfCFTA will not be solely assessed on its impact on trade, but also, on how it has improved the development trajectory of the African continent relative to the empowerment of its women and youth. 

Vice President Howard-Taylor further intimated that the provision of affordable and accessible credit to women and youth, the removal of general stereotypes to engender micro-credit facilities, and the free movement of goods and persons across Africa are amongst the most critical issues required in drawing up the final resolution for the implementation of AfCFTA as it relates to women and youth.  

Madam Vice President also commended the adoption of AfCFTA which is the largest trade pact to take effect since the establishment of the World Trade Organization, covering more than a billion people across the African continent. 

While in Dar Es Salaam, Vice President Howard-Taylor held discussions with His Excellency  Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat.

The meeting was centered on exploring the possibilities of establishing an AfCFTA Secretariat in Liberia and the promotion of intra-Africa trade. 

The Vice President therefore committed to ensuring that the Liberian Legislature ratifies the AfCFTA. 

Madam Vice President concluded her engagements with a meeting with Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

The two leaders agreed on the need to strengthen bilateral relations between both Nations and peoples.

The meeting also captured discussions on collaboration in the areas of mining, agriculture, and tourism. 

The United Republic of Tanzania gained independence in 1961. It is the largest country in East Africa and hosts the Headquarters of the Eastern Africa Community (EAC).

The country’s economy is mainly dependent on agriculture, mining, and tourism.