Afreximbank selects Côte d'Ivoire to host the third edition of the African Trade Fair


Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Chairman of the IATF Advisory Board, announced the selection of Cote d'Ivoire to host the third Intra-African Trade Fair in 2023.

During the activities of the second edition of the exhibition, held from November 15 to 21, Obasanjo announced the success of the West African file, thanking President Alassane Ouattara for presenting a lively presentation, with the aim of opening trade and investment opportunities at home.

“The event was first hosted in Cairo, Egypt in 2018, and marked a resumption of the continent’s journey towards a successful, self-sustainable trade and investment initiative - the largest in the entire world since the formation of the World Trade Organization, and South Africa had to take over the hosting from Kigali, Rwanda for the edition,” Obasanjo said. The second is in 2021, after the emerging coronavirus (Covid-19) destabilized economic preparations.

The Africa Trade Fair is seen as a vehicle for realizing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement that came into force on January 1, 2021 and brings together a base of 1.3 billion people with a cumulative GDP. About 4 trillion US dollars.

Speaking at the opening of the IATF2021 at the Durban International Convention Center on Sunday, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank Benedict Orama said the trade fair stimulates growth and the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area could not have come at a better time, given the fruits of the event The inaugural event was held in Cairo, Egypt in 2018, which involved 1,100 exhibitors and nearly 7,000 participants from 45 countries.

He explained that this event has concluded deals worth 32 billion dollars, so far, deals have been executed about 25 billion dollars, and another 2.5 billion dollars are under discussion, which represents an incredible success rate of 83 percent.

He stated that other achievements of the IATF2018 Cairo event include the story of a young Nigerian businessman who participated in the trade fair 2018, thanks to the Elumelu Foundation, was chosen by Singaporean investors in the trade fair and is now producing drones for agricultural purposes in Singapore.

Another is the agreement made at the event between the Government of South Sudan and an Egyptian company, which led to the development of a large solar energy project in South Sudan.

Also, during the first edition of the Continental Trade Fair, the largest intra-African EPC contract was signed for a US$2.9 billion hydroelectric project between the government of Tanzania and two leading Egyptian engineering firms. The financing was coordinated by Afreximbank and was fully backed by a group of African banks. The project aims to generate 2,100 megawatts of hydropower, which represents 42 percent of Tanzania's target to generate 5,000 megawatts by 2025, and create more than 6,000 jobs in Egypt and Tanzania.