Kigali, 14 Feb. 2020: – The second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2020) will provide key pathways for the Rwandan private sector to access intra-African trade opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative, has said.
Addressing the opening of a roadshow held in Kigali on Tuesday to raise awareness about IATF2020 and to showcase Afreximbank products and services, Ms. Awani said that the way each country prepared for the operational phase of the AfCFTA, which will commence on 1 July, would determine how successfully it would benefit from the initiative.
She said that IATF2020 would provide strong business insight within Africa by connecting buyers and sellers of goods and services across the continent.
As the host country of IATF2020, Rwanda and Rwandan businesses would be the greatest beneficiaries of the trade fair, said Ms. Awani.
“IATF2020, we believe, will transform the way Africans trade with each other, and, specifically, the way Rwanda trades with other African countries,” she said
Stephen Ruzibiza, CEO of Private Sector Federation Rwanda, which co-organised the roadshow, said that the commencement of trade under the AfCFTA was a critical moment for Africa and that the efforts to be deployed would determine success.
“If we don’t put more emphasis now, then we may not realise the benefits of the AfCFTA and intra-African trade,” he told the audience.
The roadshow featured presentations of trade-enabling initiatives and a comprehensive suite of products and facilities available from Afreximbank. These include the Bank’s industrial parks projects; the Africa Quality Assurance Centres, which aim to address challenges relating to compliance with standards; the Centre of Excellence on health; the Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme and other instruments seeking to address the lack of access to finance by SMEs; the $3.5-billion adjustment facility to assist the public and private sector adjust to the new trading regime of the AfCFTA; the $500-million Creative Industry Support Fund of the Bank’s Creative Economy strategy; and the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System for which pilot tests will start in few weeks.
The roadshow attracted about 250 members of Rwandan business community and was held on the sidelines of the fifth meeting of the IATF2020 Advisory Council.
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About the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2020): The second edition of the biennial Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) will take place in Kigali from 1 to 7 September 2020. It will provide a platform for entry into a single market of over 1.2 billion people joined together by the African Continental Free Trade Area, serving as a marketplace bringing together continental and global buyers and sellers and showcasing goods and services. IATF2020 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. In addition to establishing a business-to-business and a business-to-government exchange platform for business deals and advisory services, IATF2020 will also operate a Virtual Trade Fair on an interactive online platform accessible to all. The IATF2020 Conference will run alongside the exhibition and will feature high-profile speakers and panellists addressing topical issues relating to trade finance, payments, trade facilitation, trade-enabling infrastructure, harmonisation of trade standards, industrialization, regional value chains and investment. For more information, visit: www.intrafricantradefair.com
About Afreximbank: The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade. The Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors. Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organization, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Since 1994, it has approved more than $67 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including $7.2 billion in 2018. Afreximbank had total assets of $13.4 billion as at 31 December 2018. It is rated A- (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo. For more information, visit: www.afreximbank.com