About US$43.7 billion worth of trade and investment deals are reported to have been sealed at the just ended third edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) held in Egypt.
This is against the projected figure of US$43 billion which was set, with the organizer describing the event as a success.
Furthermore, IATF2023 managed to attract about 1,939 exhibitors from 130 countries, with 45 African countries in attendance.
In making the announcement in Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday, Intra-African Trade Bank, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Executive Vice President, Kanayo Awani, stated that from 45 African countries represented, 42 had pavilions, saying this was a remarkable achievement.
She further indicated that 16 non-African countries were represented at this year’s edition of the IATF, bringing the total number of countries to 61.
“We did promise to come back and give you conclusive key indicators after doing the necessary audits.
“In terms of participants of attendance both in person/ virtue, we ended up with 28,282. In terms of the number of exhibitors I think we had announced 1,615 at the close of the trade fair but following our audit it was 1,939 …we had actually targeted 1,600,”Awani said.
She told journalists that by their own estimation and standard set, the IATF2023 was a huge success because they exceeded many of their parameters.
When asked by Zambia Monitor how significant 2023 IATF was to the sub-Saharan Africa region in broadening access to financing, Awani stated: “the trade fair was a platform that was used to connect buyers and sellers, we are aware that the contract that are being negotiated have to be financed in one form or the other.”
She mentioned that as Afreximbank they ensured that financial institutions and non-banking financial institutions were part of the trade fair to provide the necessary financing and expand access to finance on the continent.
Awani further indicated that the the IATF was a huge platform to access finance, stating that it was not just a platform to grow intra-African trade but a platform for banks to grow access to finance.
Afreximbank, working with the African Union and other strategic partners launched the Intra-African Trade Fair in 2018 as a key initiative to support the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
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