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More opportunities for Zim firms as IATF plans bigger, better fair

Local News
Seated from left to right…Chiza Charles Chiumya from the Africa Union Commission, Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade Bank – Afreximbank, Tayeb Zitouni, Minister of Trade and Export Promotion, Algeria, and Mr. Chawki Jaballi from the AfCFTA Secretariat at the host signing agreement for IATF2025 on Monday. Looking on are IATF advisory council chairperson Olusegun Obasanjo and Algeria Prime Minister Nadir Larbaoui.

Zimbabwean firms are set to reap more benefits from the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) after organisers promised a bigger and better fair next year.

Algeria will host the 4th edition of IATF from September 4 to 6 in its capital, Algiers. The fair is jointly organised by Afreximbank, African Union Commission and the AfCFTA Secretariat.

“I am sure that IATF2025 will be bigger, better and more appreciated than all the three that we have had in the past,” IATF advisory council chairman Olusegun Obasanjo said at a host signing agreement in Algiers, Algeria, on Monday.

“Not only will IATF2025 improve and make possible trade within Africa, but it will also improve trade between Africa and the Arab world. This is unique because of you [Algeria] agreeing to host IATF2025,” Obasanjo said.

He said the trade and investment fair seeks to drive intra-African trade at a time when the volume of trade among African countries has declined in the past two years.

The decline in intra-African trade, Obasanjo said, does not support the development and socioeconomic condition of the continent.

The Intra-African Trade Fair seeks to correct this by promoting intra-African trade and continental integration, he said.

Kanayo Awani, Afreximbank’s executive vice president in charge of Intra-African Trade Bank, said the world economy had veered towards protectionism and neo-mercantilism where the pursuit of self-interest becomes the major overriding preferred foreign policy of major world economies.

This, Awani said, has been at the expense of global cooperation under the multilateral system which has supported shared growth and prosperity, especially among developing countries for almost half-a-century.

“In such a fractured world where every economic grouping has to fend for itself, Africa has no option but to fend for itself,” Awani said.

She said IATF opens alternative routes for African trade and has become the platform for actualising the AfCFTA.

The IATF, Awani, has become an engine for accelerating combined trade and investment deals.  

“The last three fairs have generated combined trade and investment deals of no less than US$120 billion. To one who wonders what the US$120 billion represents, 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,” Awani said.

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