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Africa’s largest trade, investment fair begins, promises to unlock continent’s potential


Africa’s largest trade and investment fair has opened here in Cairo, Egypt which is set to unlock the continent’s true potential.

The fair is projected to attract over 1,600 exhibitors and 35,000 visitors and buyers from across the continent and the world.

In his opening remarks, Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) Chairman, Olusegun Obasanjo, said that intra-African trade holds the key to unlocking Africa’s true potential.

Obasanjo, ex-Nigerian President, further said that intra-African trade would fuel economic growth, fostering industrialisation and create jobs opportunities for people on the continent.

He noted that IATF2023 was a platform for networking, collaboration and knowledge sharing beyond being an exhibition of goods and services.

This, Obasanjo, said would bring together entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers from across Africa and its Diaspora to exchange ideas, forge partnerships and explore new opportunities.

“It is through this spirit of cooperation and collaboration that we will unlock the untapped potential of our continent,” he said

Obasanjo added that the trade fair signified the commitment of Africa to forge economic integration and market their collective determination to create a prosperous future.

He called on African leaders, policy makers, and other representatives to foster an environment conducive to trade by eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy, harmonising regulations and investing in necessary infrastructure.
Read more: 2023 Intra-African Trade Fair projects $43 billion worth of trade and investment deals
“IATF2023 was a stepping stone towards a future where African nations traded freely, breaking down barriers and opening doors of opportunities for all,” Obasanjo added.

He urged entrepreneurs and innovators to seize the moment to build bridges of commerce between nations and within communities by embracing the spirit of entrepreneurship and leveraging technology to unlock new markets, connect small-scale farmers with global partners and empower women-owned businesses.

Earlier, Ahmed Samir Saleh, Minister of Trade and Industry of Egypt, had welcomed guests to the trade fair and expressed Egypt’s happiness at hosting the event.

The ceremony also featured the projection of a hologram of Kwame Nkrumah, the former President of Ghana who was a key proponent of a united Africa.

IATF2023 is Africa’s largest trade and investment fair projected to attract over 1,600 exhibitors and 35,000 visitors and buyers.

Trade and investment deals valued at US$43 billion are expected to be concluded during the trade fair.

This is said to be must attend event for everyone interested in trade and investments in Africa’s single market of 1.4 billion people created by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which had a combined gross domestic product of over US$3.5 trillion.

Attendees include buyers, sellers, importers, exporters, investors, manufacturers, captains of industry, senior government ministers, trade finance and advisory specialists, trade and economic organisations, senior executives from corporates and multinationals and innovative entrepreneurs from across Africa and beyond.

The third Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) opened on Thursday in Cairo.

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