Durban to host Intra-African Trade Fair 2021

The second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) will be taking place in Durban, the organisers have announced. File photo.

The second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) will be taking place in Durban, the organisers have announced. File photo.

Published Jul 10, 2021


The second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) will be taking place in Durban, the organisers have announced.

This event is organised by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat, and is expected to take place from November 15 until November 21.

The IATF2021 provides a platform to promote trade under the AfCFTA.

Initially, the trade fair was expected to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, from December 8 until December 14. However, the IATF advisory council decided to bring the date forward during a virtual meeting held on May 25.

The decision came after consultants to the Rwandan government indicated that logistical constraints related to the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the progress of the construction of a new facility where the event would have taken place.

IATF2021 advisory council chairperson and former president of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo commended the AU, the AfCFTA secretariat and all IATF stakeholders for showing resilience and adapting during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said relocating the IATF2021 to Durban would save time and enable African countries and corporates to take full advantage of the trade fair, which is an important component of the AfCFTA under which trading commenced this year.

Obasanjo said that given a comprehensive assessment of the measures that have been taken by the AU and Afreximbank under the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), as well as other initiatives, to procure vaccines for the continent, the council believes that by November a significant number of people will have been vaccinated, allowing for a successful event.

He said they will continue to work with the South African government to ensure all Covid-19 measures are complied with during the trade fair as the safety of residents and visitors is paramount.

“We congratulate the government of the Republic of South Africa and KwaZulu-Natal provincial government and thank them for the swift efforts that are being made to ensure that IATF2021 safely accommodates the growing number of participating governments, exhibitors, buyers, conference delegates and visitors that have confirmed their participation in the event,” Obasanjo said.

Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala welcomed the conference and said the province was honoured to be hosting such an important gathering as it implements its own economic reconstruction, recovery and transformation plan.

“Based on plans announced by our President Cyril Ramaphosa on rolling out the Covid-19 vaccination programme in South Africa, we will be ready in November to host our brothers and sisters in Durban for this IATF2021.

“This gathering is one of the most significant strategic interventions to remind us of our interconnectedness and of the urgent need to promote intra-Africa trade to reignite economic opportunities and create much-needed jobs for all our people,” Zikalala said.


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