• Friday, June 21, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

IATF endorsed as booster for African trade, development goal

IATF endorsed as booster for African trade, development goal

The Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) has been endorsed by key stakeholders as the pathway to boosting African trade and accelerating economic development in the continent following successes recorded from previous editions.

Organized by the African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the African Union (AU), the IATF which started in 2018 has recorded significant success in trade and investment deals, while providing a platform for investors to see numerous opportunities and for African businesses to increase their prospects.

Speaking during the signing ceremony to officially confer Côte d’Ivoire as the Host of IATF2023 in Abidjan, Benedict Oramah, president and chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank said the IATF has become a platform for actualising the vision of the African continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

He added that the universal access to trade information was the ‘hammer ‘ needed to break down the 110 borders that divide Africans in order to achieve a resounding success in Africa.

“It is opening up new trade routes, rapidly expanding knowledge of the continents trading environment and exposing our cultural heritage to our markets and faraway consumers,” he said.

He added that the combined $75 billion in deals sealed during the Durban and Cairo trade fairs are reminders of the abundant intra-African trade and investment potentials.

Oramah said the IATF train having left the South African base where it was a few months ago, has come to West Africa to build on the previous successes recorded.

Albert Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry said the IATF has an important role of driving economic transformation in Africa and urged member states to ratify the AfCTFA in order to achieve the desired economic results and enjoy the benefits it promises.

Read also: Stakeholders raise concerns over growing threat to achieve biodiversity in Africa

“AfCFTA represents a great achievement for African integration, in addition the large number of participants in the two editions of IATF is an indication that Africa represent a strong and dynamic force in the international arena,” he said.

Alassane Ouattara, president, Côte d’Ivoire, commended the IATF Advisory Council for their commitment and efforts to develop African economy, adding that the country was committed to ensuring a successful hosting of the IATF2023.

“This is an honour bestowed on Côte d’Ivoire and the leadership of the country for the economic development and strengthening of trade development in the African Continent, It is evident that this will consolidate the business and economic intensity of the continent,” Ouattara represented by Patrick Achi, Prime Minister, Cote d’Ivoire said.

IATF2023 will be the third edition of the African continent’s premier trade and investment event, following the resoundingly successful second edition, which held in November 2021 in Durban, South Africa, and realised over $42.1 billion in trade and investment deals, 1501 exhibitors and over 32,500 attendees from 128 countries across Africa and beyond.