From Uche Usim, Abuja

At $36 business deals were recorded as the curtains came down at the 2021 edition of the Intra Africa Trade Fair (IATF) that took place from 15 to 21 November in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Presenting the preliminary report of the IATF 2021 on Sunday, Mrs. Kanayo Awani, the Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra African Trade Initiative, reported that 11,828 people attended the event physically, while over 27,000 did so virtually via the IATF Virtual platform, which streamed the event live and offered other features that replicated the physical trade fair, bringing the total number of participants to about 39,000. Participants at IATF 2021 came from 128 countries around the world.

Mrs. Awani also announced that against a target of 1,100 exhibitors as set out in the key performance indicators unveiled in 2019 on the background of the lessons learnt from the first IATF in Cairo, Egypt in 2018, IATF 2021 saw 1,161 exhibitors including 838 companies from 59 Countries of which 46 came from Africa, showcase their goods and services, in what was recognized as a massively successful event.

While explaining that business deals were still going on and that some of the deals already closed were still being compiled, Mrs. Awani disclosed that the deals concluded as of 21 November 2021 amounted to US$36 billion, exceeding the US$32 billion mark set at IATF 2018.

Four country days were organized, dedicated to South Africa, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria, double the number that featured in the inaugural Cairo 2018 event.

Former Nigerian President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chairman of the IATF Advisory Council, described IATF as a movement towards an economically reliable Africa.

Chief Obasanjo complimented Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Mrs. Kanayo Awani and all those who played a role in the success of the event, which was rescheduled to Durban, after Kigali, the initial host, was curtailed in its preparations due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Durban had only four months to prepare for the event, whose opening ceremony was graced with the presence of seven Heads of State and Government, including President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, President Lazarus Chakwere of Malawi, President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia, President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, Hon. Hussein Mwinyi of Zanzibar and the Rwandan Prime Minister, Hon. Edouard Ngirente, all whose presence Chief Obasanjo described as “proof of commitment to the IATF at the highest level.”

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, will host the third IATF in 2023.

The post $36bn deals recorded as IATF 2021 ends appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

Source: news