Data released by the Intra-African Trade Fair, IATF Advisory Council has revealed that the 2021 edition of IATF brought in an unprecedented US$42.1 billion in trade and trade-related investments.
The fair, organised by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union (AU) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, was held from November 15 to 21 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
The 7-day fair hosted sessions afforded over 500 businesses the opportunity to close trade and investment deals.
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This huge success recorded in trade targets was visible in the number of attendees. Against a target of 1,100 exhibitors, there were 1,161 exhibitors among the over 30,000 participants, which organisers had envisaged to be at least 10,000 participants.
11,828 attended the event in person, while over 27,000 participated virtually via the IATF Virtual platform across 128 countries around the world.
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Speaking at the fair, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chairman of the IATF 2021 Advisory Council lauded the exceptional performance of the organisers and expressed gratitude to the host country for their commitment.
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“Despite the uncertain environment arising from the COVID-19 pandemic situation, IATF 2021 attracted exhibitors from 59 countries, of which 46 were African countries. Buyers, sellers and investors came physically and virtually from across Africa and beyond to connect and exchange trade, investment and market information. We have effectively begun the process of building bridges for a successful AfCFTA, less than a year after the commencement of trade under this agreement,” said Chief Obasanjo. “We congratulate the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government, Afreximbank, the AU Commission and the AfCFTA Secretariat, and thank them for the swift efforts made in record time to organise this historic event, which has resulted in the resounding success that we see today.”