Algeria has been named as host of Africa’s largest trade and investment fair, Intra-Africa Trade Fair (IATF2025) at a ceremony held in Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday.
In making the announcement, IATF2023 Advisory Council Chairman, Olusegun Obasanjo, highlighted the importance and significant contribution of intra-africa trade on the African continent.
Obsanjo thanked African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) for being the promoters of the continental trade and investment event, which he said was gaining importance on a daily basis.
He said without the tremendous efforts initiated and made by the President of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah, the IAFT would not have reached this stage.
Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end, Obasanjo said as far as the IATF was concerned, the end of one was the beginning of another.
The former President of Nigeria also made special tribute to the President of Egypt, Abdel Farrah El-Sisi, for successfully hosting the 2023 IATF edition.
“We thank you for all you have done to make it possible for us to host the IATF here in Cairo, Egypt,” Obasanjo said.
Algerian Ambassador to Cairo and Permanent Delegate to the League of Arab State, Abdelhamid Chebira, highlighted his country’s achievement in advancing trade and investment.
Chebira said a lot of work had been done for Algerian businesses to have reached at this stage, which he said had enabled the private sector become the giant of sustainable growth and diversified the economy.
He said despite the challenges and obstacles encountered at the IATF, it was good to have the Algerian participant at this year’s fair.
“I would like to reiterate the Algerian government commitment to organize the fourth edition of the 2025 IATF.
“We would like to call on our partners that beyond just an exhibition of goods and services the idea would be to provide rare platform for the collaboration and bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, policy makers from across Africa and create partnership and explore new opportunities,” Chebira said.
Speaking at the same event, African Union Commissioner, Albert Muchanga, was confident that Algeria would not fail to organise and host the 2025 IATF.
“As African Union we are in full support in the process of developing the Intra-African Trade Fair.
“It’s a source of information, it’s a source of business to business transaction and in the process is the source of growth and development for the African economy and as for this reason as a member of the advisory council we are going to fully participate in the preparation of the IATF,” Muchanga said.
Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank said: “we need to start work immediately.”
“We need to start the implementation, we need to set the dates and we need to hold our Advisory Council meeting after we hold the very last,” she said.
Awani called on the private sector, governments, investors and all stakeholders to work together to deliver a resounding success for IATF.
She said this was a robust and complex project, which had a number of different elements such as the Business to Business, country day, trade and investment forum, Creative industry, and Auto shows, among others.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat Secretary General, Wamkele Mene, said there was need to work together to collaborate to address any challenges that may arise.
“The issue of VISAs, the issue of accommodation, issue of non-application of duties on exhibition that are coming temporarily into the country so that our SMEs do not incur unnecessary costs.
“All of these things that lead to a successful hosting of the Intra-African trade fair are critical because we want our SMEs to fully participate and we want our SME to feel part of the trade of the African Continent that all of us are committed to that is why Algeria offered to host,” Mene said.
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