Zim targets growth at IATF hosted by Algeria in 2025

17 Apr, 2024 - 12:04 0 Views
Zim targets growth at IATF hosted by Algeria in 2025

eBusiness Weekly

Business Writer

The fourth edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), which will be hosted by Algeria next year, serves as a vital platform for Zimbabwe to engage with fellow African nations, fostering mutually beneficial trade relationships, a senior official with the country’s trade development and promotion body, ZimTrade, has said.

IATF is the African continent’s premier trade and investment event. Its attractions include more than 1,000 exhibitors from across Africa showcasing their goods and services.

In 2025 the prime event will be hosted by Algeria from 4 – 10 September in Algiers, following the Host Agreement Signing Ceremony that took place in Algiers on 15 April 2024.

ZimTrade chief executive officer Allan Majuru is confident that the forthcoming IATF will further amplify trade efforts, opening doors to new opportunities and driving economic growth for Zimbabwe and the continent at large.

“Our anticipation stems from the remarkable success we experienced at the previous edition in Cairo (2023), where participating Zimbabwean companies generated over US$20 million in deals during the fair,” said Majuru.

He said the trade development and promotion body believes firmly in the potential of intra-African trade to drive economic growth and development across the continent.

“The IATF serves as a pivotal platform for our Zimbabwean businesses to explore new partnerships, expand their market reach, and boost their product visibility across the continent,” said Majuru.

Speaking at the Host Agreement Signing Ceremony, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chairperson of the IATF2025 Advisory Council and Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, extolled the Intra-African Trade Fair as the go-to trade and investment event on the African continent.

He added that “the IATF2025 Hosting Agreement represents more than just a contractual agreement; rather it symbolises a collective responsibility of the partners for excellence and innovation in continuing the tradition of the Intra-African Trade Fair, which has become established as the AfCFTA Marketplace and the go-to trade and investment event on the African continent. The IATF is now a foremost event in the African calendar of economic, social, trade and even policy events.

“It is in the passionate pursuit of these goals that Afreximbank in collaboration with the African Union Commission and AfCFTA Secretariat are championing the noble cause of changing the socioeconomic landscape of Africa by devising progressive initiatives aimed at promoting intra-African trade and continental integration.”

Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank, said: “The Intra-African Trade Fair opens alternate routes for African trade. It has become the platform for actualising the AfCFTA vision.

She added that IATF expands and deepens knowledge of the continent’s trading environment and enhances the industrial capacity of African economies.

“Ultimately, IATF has become the engine accelerating trade and business flows within the continent,” she said.

The last three fairs have generated combined trade and investment deals of no less than US$120 billion, according to Awani.

She said the US$120 billion means African businesses have found buyers in new markets across Africa, industries have found new sources of raw materials, investment and capital goods, government-to-government deals in critical sectors such as agriculture and agro-processing have been forged, and African contractors have won major government projects.

A statement delivered on behalf of H.E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat described the importance of the Intra-African Trade Fair as “our strategic response to the challenge of trade information scarcity, aiming to enhance intra-African trade and investments, all without the need for outside help.

And it serves as a symbol of hope and opportunity, breaking down conventional trade and investment barriers to unite the diverse yet cohesive African identity.

“The Ceremony was also attended by public and private sector institutions, African diplomatic corps, financial institutions, and trade and industry associations, and is intended to maximise awareness surrounding the upcoming IATF2025.

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