‘$36bn deals recorded at Intra-Africa trade fair’ | Dailytrust

‘$36bn deals recorded at Intra-Africa trade fair’

FILE PHOTO: Intra-Africa trade fair
FILE PHOTO: Intra-Africa trade fair

Deals worth $36 billion were recorded at the second Intra Africa Trade Fair (IATF 2021) which took place from 15 to 21 November in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Presenting the preliminary report of the IATF 2021, Mrs Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra African Trade Initiative, reported at the closing ceremony in Durban that 11,828 people attended the event physically, while over 27,000 did so virtually via the IATF Virtual platform, which streamed the event live and offered other features that replicated the physical trade fair, bringing the total number of participants to about 39,000.

Participants at IATF 2021 came from 128 countries around the world.

Mrs Awani also announced that against a target of 1,100 exhibitors as set out in the key performance indicators unveiled in 2019 on the background of the lessons learnt from the first IATF in Cairo, Egypt in 2018, IATF 2021 saw 1,161 exhibitors including 838 companies from 59 countries of which 46 came from Africa, showcase their goods and services.

While explaining that business deals were still going on and that some of the deals already closed were still being compiled, Mrs Awani disclosed that the deals concluded as of 21 November 2021 amounted to US$36 billion, exceeding the US$32 billion mark set at IATF 2018.

A former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who is the Chairman of the IATF Advisory Council, described IATF as a movement towards an economically reliable Africa.

Obasanjo complimented Prof Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Mrs Kanayo Awani and all those who played a role in the success of the event, which was rescheduled to Durban, after Kigali, the initial host, was curtailed in its preparations due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Durban had only four months to prepare for the event, whose opening ceremony was graced with the presence of seven Heads of State and Government, including President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, President Lazarus Chakwere of Malawi, President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia, President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, Hon Hussein Mwinyi of Zanzibar and the Rwandan Prime Minister, Hon. Edouard Ngirente, all whose presence Chief Obasanjo described as “proof of commitment to the IATF at the highest level.”

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, will host the third IATF in 2023.

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