Abidjan, 27 February 2023 – In the run-up to the 3rd edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023), that will take place in Abidjan from 21st to 27th November 2023 in Abidjan, the organizers of the trade fair on 23rd February 2023 hosted the first of a series of roadshows to promote the trade fair across Africa. Held under the theme ” Promoting Côte d’Ivoire-Africa Trade & Investment Under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”, the roadshow provided an opportunity to introduce IATF2023 to the Ivorian business community.
This first roadshow involved senior executives and officials of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat who are co-organising the IATF2023.
In his welcome address at the event, Souleymane Diarrassouba the Minister of Commerce, Industry and SME promotion of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, underlined the context in which IATF is being held in Côte d’Ivoire and its importance for the country.
“The African Heads of State and Government, under the Agenda 2063, found it important to create a single African market. 54 out of 55 African Union countries have signed this partnership and 44 have ratified it. This 3rd edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair will allow Côte d’Ivoire to increase its influence in Africa,” said Minister Diarrassouba. ” President Alassane Ouatarra has declared IATF2023 the event of the year in our country,” he added.
In her keynote address, Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Afreximbank’s Executive Vice President in charge of the Intra-African Trade Bank, said the Bank will continue to commit significant resources to assisting African businesses to focus on intra-African trade, adding that she was optimistic about the success of the next edition of IATF in Abidjan. “The previous editions of IATF in Cairo and Durban have allowed many entrepreneurs to really get into the African market. The examples are numerous. I am optimistic about the success of IATF2023 in Côte d’Ivoire. I would urge you to register and participate in this event,” she told members of the business community.
Ms. Emily Mburu-Ndoria, Director Trade in Services, Investment, IPR and Digital Trade at AfCFTA Secretariat, highlighted the importance of IATF in facilitating intra-African trade, saying that IATF2023 will once again be an excellent opportunity to unlock the huge potential for trade between African countries.
During the Abidjan Roadshow, the Ivorian private sector was also invited to take full ownership of this major event. Dr Parfait Kouadio KOUASSI, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Côte d’Ivoire said that the Ivorian private sector is determined to take action in order to represent Côte d’Ivoire at the event. “We call on Ivorian companies to participate massively,” he stated.
It was also the occasion to highlight the opportunities under the AfCFTA for Cote d’Ivoire Manufacturers, Exporters, Investors and Automotive Players during a panel discussion which brought together quality speakers, including Mr. Jean Arsène Yerima, Afreximbank Regional Chief Operating Officer for Francophone West Africa, Mrs. Emily Mburu-Ndoria, Director Trade in Services, Investment, IPR and Digital Trade at AfCFTA Secretariat, Mr. Bernard Wackers, Director General – Operations, ATC Comafrique Côte d’Ivoire and Mr. Aka Anghui, Executive Director of the Confédération Générale des Entreprises de Côte d’Ivoire (CGECI).
IATF2023 will be held at the Abidjan Exhibition Centre, whose construction is currently being completed. A delegation of the IATF2023 Advisory Council visited the site earlier in the day. Led by H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR, Chairman of IATF2023 Advisory Council, joined by Afreximbank President Prof. Benedict Oramah, the Former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, H.E Ms Baleka Mbete, Minister of Commerce, Industry and SME promotion of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Souleymane Diarrassouba, H.E. Ambassador Albert Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals and Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, the delegation ascertained the progress of the work. Members of the IATF2023 Advisory Council then held their fifth meeting to take stock of the preparations for the event.
More than 1,600 exhibitors from over 75 countries are expected to attend IATF2023 in Abidjan, along with over 35,000 visitors and buyers. IATF2023 is expected to generate more than $43 billion in trade and investment deals.
IATF2023 will consist of eight segments, namely an exhibition, a conference, Business-to-Business and Business-to-Government exchanges, country day, the Virtual IATF, the Creative Africa Nexus Programme, an African Automotive Show and the AU Youth Startup Programme.
About the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023)
Organised by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, the third Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) will take place in Abidjan from 21 to 27 November 2023.
IATF2023 is intended to provide a unique platform for facilitating trade and investment information exchange in support of increased intra-African trade and investment, especially in the context of implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The objectives of the Intra-African Trade Fair, include bringing together continental and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services, and to explore business and investment opportunities in the continent. It also provides a platform to share trade, investment and market information with stakeholders and to discuss and identify solutions to the challenges affecting intra-African trade and investment. Beyond African participants, the Trade Fair is also open to businesses and investors from non-African countries interested in doing business in Africa and supporting its transformation through industrialisation and export development.
To register as a delegate or as an exhibitor for IATF2023 please visit: www.intrafricantradefair.com
Amadou Labba Sall
Olga Marysa Akin