Bright future forecast for the automotive sector and youth start-ups in Africa The countdown begins for IATF2021

Categories: Press Releases

Cairo, 25 September 2020: – The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), in collaboration with the African Union, has hosted the second of its five webinars raising awareness for the African continent’s premier trade event, the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021), which is to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, from 6 – 12 September 2021, under the themeBuilding Bridges for a Successful AfCFTA.’

Dave Coffey, CEO of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) highlighted the huge potential of African markets to be the next major opportunity for the global and domestic automotive sector with its young demographic profile, rapid population growth and urbanisation, burgeoning middle class and technology all suggesting exponential growth in demand. He said: “We regard the ‘Pan African Auto Pact’ as the potential gamechanger for the development of the African automobile market, through its potential to connect African regions to create a harmonised portfolio with distributed value chains and manufacturing, started with a ‘coalition of the willing.”

In a second presentation on the African Automotive sector, Gainmore Zanamwe of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative, focused on the bright prospects for the sector through the further development of regional value chains. He said: “Through these initiatives, we could see the new vehicle sales increase from 1 million to 5 million sales a year across the continent.”

Afreximbank’s strategy for the Automotive industry includes:

  • Automotive Financing – providing financing and risk-sharing to industry players and consumers;
  • Regional Automotive Value Chains – Fostering the emergence of regional value hubs with focus on value-added manufacturing created through joint ventures between global Original Equipment Manufacturers, tier 1 suppliers and local partners; and
  • Policy and Capacity Building – Supporting the setting of the right automotive policies and capacity building programmes.

Allan Majuru, CEO of ZimTrade, stressed the importance of Youth start-ups in driving growth in African economies, with their key advantages being their technology savviness, innovation, risk taking, early adopting and game-changing mentality, and their ability to work smart. To reach their potential, significant support is required in the form of capacity development and mentoring, networking, access to finance, supportive infrastructure, enabling policies and market linkages.

Emery Rubagenga, CEO and Founder of Ishango, examined the challenges facing Youth start-ups and SMEs in Africa which include access to finance, infrastructure deficits, the need for more countries to join Rwanda and Ghana in creating an enabling environment for start-ups, differential laws and regulations across the continent and significant competition. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) promises to provide exponential opportunities through its creation of a single liberalised continental market with free movement of both capital and people.

In addition to the immense trade and investment opportunities proffered by the AfCFTA, the event also highlighted the importance of attending the IATF2021 for all those involved in African trade and investments. IATF2021 will provide a unique and valuable platform for businesses to explore a single integrated African market of over 1.3 billion people with a combined GDP of over US$2.5 trillion.

The Trade and Investment webinar can be viewed here.



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 About the Intra African Trade Fair

Organized by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union and hosted by the Government of Rwanda, IATF2021 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. 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. In addition to establishing a business-to-business and a business-to-government exchange platform for business deals and advisory services, IATF2021 will also operate a Virtual Trade Fair on an interactive online platform accessible to all. It will also focus on Africa’s creative economy as well as the automotive industry with dedicated programs. A Conference will run alongside the exhibition and will feature high-profile speakers and panelists addressing topical issues relating to trade finance, payments, trade facilitation, trade-enabling infrastructure, harmonization of trade standards, industrialization, regional value chains and investment.

To register as a delegate or as an exhibitor for IATF2021 please visit: 

About Afreximbank

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank was established in October 1993 and owned by African governments, the African Development Bank and other African multilateral financial institutions as well as African and non-African public and private investors. The Bank was established under two constitutive documents, an Agreement signed by member states, which confers on the Bank the status of an international organisation, and a Charter signed by all Shareholders, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Afreximbank deploys innovative structures to deliver financing solutions that are supporting the transformation of the structure of Africa’s trade, accelerating industrialisation and intra-regional trade, thereby sustaining economic expansion in Africa. At the end of 2019, the Bank’s total assets and guarantees stood at USD$15.5 billion and its shareholders funds amounted to US$2.8 billion. Voted “African Bank of the Year” in 2019, the Bank disbursed more than US$31billion between 2016 and 2019. Afreximbank has ratings assigned by GCR (international scale) (A-), Moody’s (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt.


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