The African Union has chosen Rwanda as the continental Headquarters for the African e-trade Group in a development which was announced during the annual Africa Integration Day.

The Group’s ambition of supporting 600,000 SMEs in Africa over the next five years is expected to be organized and facilitated from the East African country. Rwanda’s Minister for ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire, has disclosed that the move is aligned with Rwanda’s vision of becoming an ICT and logistics centre in Africa.

“With the mix of initiatives such as Smart Africa and YouthConnekt Initiative already hosted in Rwanda, we believe Ae-trade Group is another initiative to continue supporting trade across the continent,” she said.

The African e-Trade Group is a social entrepreneurship initiative with the primary aim of providing a comprehensive e-commerce platform to enhance the role of Africa’s SMEs in inter and intra-African trade. Along with its main objective, Ingabire highlighted that the continental data centre will facilitate Small and Medium Enterprises towards lowering hosting data prices.

She encouraged Rwandan SMEs to take advantage of the initiative to grow their business beyond the Rwandan borders as the AeTrade Group will also create specific programs to support them.