The second Intra-African Trade Fair, scheduled to take place in Kigali, from September 1-7, 2020, will target the execution of Intra-African trade deals worth over $40 billion, President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof. Benedict Orama declared recently.
The deal target have been buoyed by the fact that IATF2018 maiden edition had attracted more than 1,000 exhibitors from 45 countries, across 20 sectors, and generated in excess of $32 billion in deals, some of which Afreximbank has already financed.
The second IATF2020 will therefore provide a platform for businesses to share trade, investment and market information, and for buyers and sellers, investors and countries to conclude business deals. Oramah noted this in Kigali, Recently, at the signing of the hosting agreement for IATF2020 by the Government of Rwanda, Afreximbank, and the African Union (AU).
Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda, Soraya Hakuziyaremye, signed for the Government, Oramah for Afreximbank, and Commissioner for Trade and Industry, AU, Amb. Albert Muchanga, of the African Union, signed for the organisation during the ceremony held at the Transform Africa Summit taking place in Kigali
Oramah further explained that for the IATF2020, which is being organised by Afreximbank in collaboration with the AU and hosted by Rwanda, the partners had set for themselves an ambitious target of attracting more than 1,000 exhibitors, and hosting over 10,000 buyers and conference participants from over 50 countries.
According to the bank president, the trade fair will build on the tremendous progress made in the maiden IATF held in Cairo, Egypt, in 2018, to achieve more far-reaching results in terms of impact in promoting Intra-African trade. Noting that “about 52 countries have signed the AfCFTA and 22 have ratified it, paving the way for the agreement to enter into force,” he added that IAATF2020 would include an IATF Trade and Investment Forum. This will look at the practical challenges affecting AfCFTA implementation, and provide solutions on how to address them and exploit the benefits offered by the Agreement.
He added further, Afreximbank will also showcase some practical solutions, including the Pan-African Payments and Settlement System, which will be launched at the AU Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government in Niamey, Niger, in July, which will facilitate trade settlement in local currencies, providing a vital boost to intra-regional trade.
Also speaking, commissioner for Trade and Industry,AU Amb. Muchanga added that the partners in the IATF had succeeded in creating a brand, and that the trade fair was a platform for sharing trade information. It brought together buyers and sellers and created access to financing for businesses.
He also disclosed that the AU was establishing an African Trade Observatory, which will gather trade-related information from member countries, and be a resource for anybody who wanted to trade with the continent as a source of general trade statistics.
On her part, Ms. Hakuziyaremye expressed Rwanda’s appreciation at being selected to host IATF2020, saying the country is committed to building on the success of IATF2018, to ensure a successful event next year, while also urging all African countries to work together for the success of the AfCFTA.