But John Ikani
The curtains have risen on the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) in Egypt, marking its third edition.
The gathering, orchestrated by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in partnership with the African Union (AU) and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) Secretariat, spans from November 9th to 15th, 2023.
With the overarching theme of “The AfCFTA Marketplace,” IATF2023 opens doors for enterprises to tap into a unified African market boasting over 1.3 billion people and a GDP exceeding $3.5 trillion under the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Highlighting the potential economic impact, the African Development Bank (AfDB) anticipates “the closure of trade and investment deals amounting to $43 billion during IATF 2023.”
The international gathering will draw the participation of 75 countries, 1600 business exhibitors, entrepreneurs, investors, financiers, and a crowd of 35,000 buyers and visitors.
Reflecting on past successes, the AfDB recalls the inaugural IATF in 2018 held in Cairo, Egypt, which “exceeded expectations with 1086 exhibitors and businesses, clinching deals worth $32 billion. Subsequently, the second edition in Durban, South Africa, in 2021 saw 1,161 exhibitors from 69 countries, with deals tallying a substantial $42 billion.”
IATF2023 is not just a hub for conventional commerce; it signifies a gateway to new possibilities.
Participants are poised to explore untrodden avenues, fostering potential opportunities to cultivate fresh pipelines and expand their reach into non-traditional business sectors.