During its eighth meeting, the Advisory Council of the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) reviewed progress on the organization of the continental trade exhibition scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from 6 to 12 September 2021.
The meeting was Chaired by the Deputy Chairperson of IATF2021 Advisory Council and former President of Afreximbank, Mr. Jean-Louis EKRA, in absence of President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Chairman of the IATF2021 Advisory Council and former President of Nigeria.
In a message read on his behalf by Ms. Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative, President Obasanjo welcomed the good progress made in the implementation process of IATF2021 preparatory activities.
The meeting, held virtually for the third time in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reviewed the event workplan approved during the 7th IATF2021 Advisory Council meeting to align with the new timeline. The status of local preparations was also discussed pertaining to readiness of successfully hosting IATF2021 in September 2021. The Advisory Council also reviewed progress on the organization of the other segments of the event such as the Trade and Investment Forum, the Creative Africa Nexus Programme, the Automotive Show and Youth Start-Up Programme.
Organized by Afreximbank in collaboration with the African Union and hosted by the Government of Rwanda, IATF2021 will enable stakeholders to share trade, investment and market information as well as trade finance and trade facilitation solutions designed to support the implementation of AfCFTA, boost intra-African trade and deepen and consolidate African economic integration.
In addition to establishing a business-to-business and a business-to-government exchange platform for trade, investment and business deals, IATF2021 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.
The 8th IATF2021 Advisory Council Meeting was also attended by Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank; Ms. Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative; Ms. Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda; His Excellency Alfred Kalisa, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the Arab Republic of Egypt; H.E Wamkele Keabetswe Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA; Mr. Jean Bertrand Azapmo, Principal Adviser to the African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry – Department of Trade and Industry; Ms. Reham El-Malwany, First Secretary, Minister’s Cabinet, Ministry of Trade and Industry of Egypt; Mr. Batanai Chikwene, Programme Management Officer, African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC)-UNECA; Dr. Edem Adzogenu, Co-founder & Executive Committee Chair, AfroChampions Initiative; Mr. Aymen Wajih Kasem, Division Manager, Trade Development-Trade & Business Development, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC); Mr. Amadou Cire Sall, Senior Associate-Trade Development-Trade & Business Development, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and Mr Mamadou Y. Diarra, Project Coordinator, Pan-African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI).
They were joined by Mr. Michel Sebera, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry of Rwanda; Ms. Nelly Mukazayire, CEO, Rwanda Convention Bureau;; Mr. Chiza Charles Newton Chiumya, Acting Head of Trade Division, African Union Commission; Ms. Karen Taylor, IATF2020 Consultant; Ms. Carol Weaving, Managing Director, Reed Exhibitions (IATF2020 Organiser); Ms. Terhas Asefaw Berhe, MD and Founder, Brand Communications (Conference Organiser); Ms. Valentine Nashipae, MD and Founder, Cube Communications (Local Organiser) as well as members of staff of Afreximbank, representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Rwanda and members of staff of Reed Exhibitions and Brand Communications.