The first-ever Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) is set to be held in Cairo in December 2018, officials announced yesterday, following the signing of the hosting agreement between the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union, and the Government of Egypt.
The hosting agreement was signed in Kigali by 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, on the sidelines of the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit on the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
Oramah said that the Intra-African Trade Fair, being organised 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.
In a statement, he explained that the IATF was being promoted by Afreximbank to drive intra-African trade and to support the implementation of the CFTA.
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 the fair to help deepen African economic cooperation.
Amb. Muchanga said that the trade fair represented an important collaborative effort between the African Union and Afreximbank, describing it as an important step towards realising the goals and objectives of the CFTA.
He noted that there had already been substantial interest in the trade fair from a number of countries.
Amb. Muchanga commended Afreximbank for initiating the trade fair, noting that it would go a long way in promoting economic development and integration.
Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, commended Afreximbank for the work it was doing in promoting intra-African trade.
The trade fair, which will run from December 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, according to organisers.