Kigali, 21 March 2018: – Preparations for the first-ever Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), to be held in Cairo in December 2018, entered into full force yesterday with the signing of the hosting agreement among the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union and the Government of Egypt.
The hosting agreement was signed in Kigali by Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank; Albert Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Trade; and Sherine El Shorbagy, Chief Executive Officer of the Export Development Authority (EDA) of Egypt, during a ceremony held as part of activities marking the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Dr. Oramah, said that the Intra-African Trade Fair, being organized by Afreximbank, in collaboration with the African Union and hosted by Egypt, would bring together more than 1,000 exhibitors from across Africa and beyond and would attract more than 70,000 visitors, generating in excess of $70 billion in trade deals.
He explained that the IATF was being promoted by Afreximbank to drive intra-African trade and to support the implementation of the AfCFTA. Egypt had emerged host of the 2018 edition of the trade fair (IATF2018) following a competitive bid process. IATF will be a biennial event.
Ms El Shorbagy told the audience that Egypt was committed to ensuring the success of IATF2018 and to making it one of the most important trade gatherings. She invited all African countries and businesses to ensure that they were represented at the fair in order to deepen African economic cooperation.
Amb. Muchanga said that the trade fair represented an important collaborative effort between the African Union and Afreximbank and was an important step in realizing the goals and objectives of the AfCFTA. He noted that there had already been substantial interest in the trade fair from a number of countries, adding that even more interest was expected.
Amb. Muchanga commended Afreximbank for initiating the trade fair and said that it would go a long way in promoting economic development and integration.
Comments were also made by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, who commended Afreximbank for the work it was doing in promoting intra-African trade.
IATF2018, which will hold from 11 to 17 December, is the first of its kind in Africa. Over the seven days, the trade show will provide a platform for sharing of trade, investment and market information/opportunities and will enable buyers and sellers, investors and countries to conclude business deals.
The agreement for the AfCFTA is being signed today in Kigali during an extraordinary Summit of African Heads of State taking place at the Kigali Convention Centre.
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