Durban, 20 November 2021: The second Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 (IATF2021) featured exhibitors from a range of sectors in participating countries showcasing a variety of products and industries covering both industrial trade and the creative economy.
Some of the entrepreneurs that stood out with their exhibitions included Mr. Monageng, a small-scale designer from the Northern Cape in South Africa, who designs and manufactures bespoke fashion items fusing African prints with works from his small studio from Monday to Friday and then sets up an informal pop-up store on the weekends.
Mr. Monageng said that his intention was to open up his own factory where he could design and print his own textiles because he believed that every print had a language. His goal was to teach people how to speak the language of fabrics. “With a factory, I can start employing everyone in order to sustain the business.”
Mohamed Abdelhak, CEO of Moka Medical, one of 50 exhibitors representing Egypt at IATF2021, said that since 2016, the company had been specialising in the manufacture of single-use medical clothing, patient gowns, Bouffant caps, face masks, shoe and boot covers, bed sheets, pillowcases, and surgeon hoods. The company was able to scale up its operations during COVID-19 and had set high standards by using the best materials to produce the highest quality protective supplies. “We’re happy with the feedback we have received via networking with global customers and contacts,” he said. Other Egyptian exhibitors included National Bank of Egypt, MVA, International Textile House of Egypt, Alsaretex Co. for Spinning & Weaving, and Link Misr International.
Rita Brobey and Sandra Snowden, female sibling co-owners of Hendy Farms, one of 14 Ghananian exhibitors, said that they succeeded in establishing new, substantial links during the week-long trade fair. The farm specialises in processing of mature and over-ripe mangoes.
“We’re essentially a small farm with only 11 employees. However, we manage to export our mango jam, mango blossom, honey and mango hot sauce to the United Kingdom, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and the United States of America,” said the sibling team. Being at IATF2021 had afforded them the opportunity to meet willing buyers and distributors from different African countries, including hotels, airlines and individual businesses. Hendy Farms had ambitions of expansion, they said, adding, “We could use funding for machinery and packaging”.
Idris Busari, a Nigerian music producer and radio DJ based in Indiana, United States, said that he had met IATF2021 Goodwill Ambassador Vincent Berry at his songwriter’s masterclass, #TheCookOut, and that that was how he found out about IATF2021. “I’ve met Vincent Berry before, and I recorded with him the Music Factory; he is the reason that I wanted to be here.”
He said that he was attending IATF2021 to promote his creative offering called AfroFusion Volume 3. “I’m here trying to get exposure in radio stations and TV stations in Africa.” He said that as a radio host in the US, he played a lot of music by African musicians at no cost to the artists, but noted that in Nigeria, radio stations monetised their playlists so that artists with more money got more airplay. He said that he had met the right people at the trade fair and was looking to engage more with DJs across Africa to establish pathways for the distribution of his music. According to him, music from the continent should not be limited to one categorisation of Afro-Beats. “We can’t separate the spirit of Africa; we can’t separate the beats from country-to-country.”
Grace Konzou, export manager of Sitrapat SA, a corn processor from Togo, said that she was at IATF2021 to look for investment partners and distributors. The company processed corn into flour and semolina and wanted to extend its line of production. “We are here to look for investors and distributors. We want to look for potential partners and distributors and establish a potential market. I am engaging banks and institutions that will lead me to the right people.”
“We are ready to do business with any country, especially South Africa, because restaurants and coffee shops have become the new meeting points during the outbreak of COVID-19,” said Saidi Hitimani of Africa Uniforms in Rwanda, one of 10 companies from Rwanda represented at IATF2021. “The Intra African Trade Fair was a good platform for us. We got a lot of business for uniforms and coffee supply,” he said.
For further information about IATF2021 please visit www.intrafricatradefair.com
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About the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021)
Organised by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) is taking place in Durban from 15 to 21 November 2021.
IATF2021 provides a platform to promote trade under the AfCFTA by bringing together continental and global buyers and sellers, and enabling stakeholders to share trade, investment and market information as well as trade finance and trade facilitation solutions designed to support intra-African trade and the economic integration of the continent. In addition to establishing business-to-business and business-to-government exchange platforms for business deals and advisory services, IATF2021 also operates IATF2021 Virtual, an interactive online platform that replicates the physical event. IATF2021 focuses on Africa’s creative economy as well as the automotive industry with dedicated programmes. A conference runs alongside the exhibition and features high-profile speakers and panellists addressing topical issues relating to trade, trade finance, payments, trade facilitation, trade-enabling infrastructure, trade standards, industrialisation, regional value chains and investment.
Amadou Labba Sall: firstname.lastname@example.org
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