IATF 2021 to support businesses in the implementation of AfCFTA

The second Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 (IATF2021) now set to take place from 8 to 14 December in Kigali, Rwanda will play a crucial role in assisting businesses in Africa to share market information and conclude business deals that are critical in supporting the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) BusinessMail has learnt.

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union (AU) and the Government of Rwanda have decided to shift the date of the continental trade fair, which was previously scheduled to hold from 6 to 12 September 2021, to allow for a broader roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines across the continent and ensure that the event is held under the most optimal health conditions.

IATF2021 will provide a platform that will allow trade under the AfCFTA. It will serve as a marketplace that will bring together continental and global buyers and sellers. It will enable stakeholders to share trade, investment and market information as well as trade finance and trade facilitation solutions designed to support intra-African trade and African economic integration.

IATF2021 Advisory Council Chairman and former President of Nigeria Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, said that the new date would also give countries and businesses more time to prepare for IATF2021.

“Our intent is that all participants garner the full benefits of the abundant networking, trade and investment opportunities that will arise at IATF2021. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot of enthusiasm for the event. The extra time given to preparatory activities and effective roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines will allow IATF2021 to be held under favourable conditions, giving more confidence to participating governments, exhibitors, buyers, conference delegates and other visitors.

“IATF2021 will bring together continental and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services, and explore business and investment opportunities enabled by the single market created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to accelerate Africa’s integration and industrialisation agenda,” he said.

The decision was made at the extraordinary meeting of the IATF2021 Advisory Council held virtually on 18 March 2021. The new date will enable organizers to take stock of all the latest safety precautions, allow for wider roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and to put in place effective COVID-19 safety and prevention protocols.

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