By Segun Fatuase
LAGOS – A high-level roadshow, a prelude to the Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 (IATF20O21) kicked off in Lagos Monday morning with a call for Nigeria’s increased visibility at the trate fair and improved business relations among African nations.
IATF2021 is seen as a relevant platform in the trade economies of the African continent by connecting buyers and sellers, investors and governments to exchange trade, investment, market information, and conclude transactions.
IATF2021 will also share trade, investment.
The IATF2021 Road Show, which was hosted by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the African Union, with the theme: ‘Promoting Nigeria-Africa Trade and Investment Under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)’, had robust discussions at the Eko Hotel, Lagos venue, all aimed at raising awareness about the potential benefits of attending the forthcoming Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) taking place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa from November 15 to November 21, 2021.
Dr George Elombi, Executive Vice President, Corporate Governance and Legal Services, Afreximbank highlighted the need for an increased intra-African trade. In particular, he said the Nigerian government and its public sector should be more visible at the Trade fair
Nigeria, according to him, stands to benefit the most from intra -African trade. He added that Nigeria represents over 17 % of the African economy and accounts for 52 % of the African population.
“We think for those reasons, Nigeria should be very visible at the Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban, South Africa”, he said
Executive Director/CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, who represented the Minister of Industry,Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, stressed tge need to sensitise all relevant stakeholders to participate at the forthcoming Trade Fair.
He said that government, through its relevant agencies has concluded arrangements to utilise the services of Air Peace, Arik and Ibom Air in ferrying participants and goods to the Durban Trade Fair.
The roadshow featured a panel session with the theme: Unlocking Regional Value Chains Through the Implementation of the AfCFTA.
Panellists include Managing Directpr, Intra African Trade Initiative, Afreximbank, Mrs Kanayo Awani, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Engr. Mansur Ahmed, General Manager, Large Enterprises , Bank of Industry, Mr Leo Kange and Founder and Convener of the Africa International Film Festival, Ms Chioma Ude.
IATF2021 provides a platform to bring together continental and global buyers and sellers, and will enable 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.