The Advisory Council for the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2020) has held its fourth meeting in preparation for the continental trade exhibition scheduled to take place in Kigali from 1 to 7 September 2020, with Rwanda restating its commitment to ensuring that the necessary infrastructure is in place for the successful hosting of the event.
Advisory Council Chairman Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria, presided over the meeting which took place at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa on 26 November.
The Trade Fair is being organised by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union Commission and is hosted by the Government of Rwanda.
Louise Kanyonga, Chief Strategy and Compliance Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, and representative of the Government of Rwanda on the Advisory Council, told the meeting that the government had concluded plans with relevant contractors for the construction work on the trade fair venue and that some activities had started.
She said that trade fair participants should expect worry-fee entry into the country as Rwanda had already implemented a visa-on-arrival policy for most African countries. In addition, discussions were ongoing with the customs authorities to ensure efficient and speedy processing of goods shipped into the country by exhibitors for use during the trade fair.
Chief Obasanjo commended the progress that had been made toward the holding of the trade fair and stressed the need for continued commitment on all sides.
The meeting reviewed the work plan for the trade fair, including the arrangements for the Trade Fair Conference, which is expected to attract several thousand participants.
It also heard updates from the various agencies engaged to support the hosting of the trade fair.
Also participating in the meeting were Jean-Louis Ekra, Deputy Chairman and former President of Afreximbank; Amb. Albert Muchanga, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry; Kanayo Awani, Managing Director, Intra-African Trade Initiative, Afreximbank; Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda; Kebour Ghena, Executive Director of the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce; Ando Mensah, Manager, Industrialisation, Trade and Investment Climate, at the African development Bank; Dr. Edem Adzogenu, Chair of the AfroChampions Initiative; Hossam Elshafei, Director of Trade and Investment, Ministry of Trade and Industry of Egypt; Amadou Cire Sall, Senior Associate, Trade at the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation; Carol Weaving, Managing Director, Reed Exhibitions; and Terhas Berhe, Managing Director, Brand Communications.