The second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF 2021) generated a record setting US$42.1 billion in trade and trade-related investment deals, according to the latest tally released today by the IATF Advisory Council. The latest figures captured additional data submitted by Trade Promotion Agencies of Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa.
Organised by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union (AU) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, IATF 2021 saw US$42.1 billion worth of trade and investment deals agreed during the event, which took place from 15 to 21 November in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
The expected number of participants and exhibitors were also exceeded. Against a target of 1,100 exhibitors, IATF 2021 saw 1,161 exhibitors showcase their goods and services. While the organisers aimed for at least 10,000 participants, the event attracted over 30,000 participants of which 11,828 were in personended up with 11,828 people attending in person and over 27,000 participating virtually via the IATF Virtual platform, bringing the total number of participants to around 39,000 from 128 countries around the world.
Opened on 15 November at a ceremony attended by seven African Heads of State and Government, IATF 2021 was also marked by several major innovations, such as the first African Sub-Sovereign Governments Conference held on 18 November, on the sidelines of the trade fair , as well as the first ever African Auto Show and Auto Forum.
Chairman of the IATF 2021 Advisory Council and former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, commended the outstanding performance while congratulating the organisers and the host country for their tenacity.
Commenting on the results, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Professor Benedict Oramah, said that the success of IATF 2021 is proof that intra-African trade is taking root under the platform of the AFCFTA.
“We are proud to be well on the way to consolidating an initiative that is already beginning to transform intra-African trade. IATF 2021 was enormously successful at all levels. The US$42.1 billion in trade and investment deals that were generated reflected the record participation, a well-thought-out platform, diversity and depth of goods and services showcased and a rich programme. We thank the African Union Commission and the AfCFTA Secretariat, the Government of the Republic of South Africa and the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government as well as our other partner institutions, donors, exhibitors, buyers and performers for their strong collaboration,” said Prof. Oramah.
Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, said: “The IATF 2021, which comes after the commencement of trade under the AfCFTA on 01 January 2021, is a practical instrument that connects buyers and sellers and provide trade and market information to facilitate intra-African trade under the AfCFTA. The conclusion of trade and investment deals worth $42.1 billion demonstrates that there is a huge opportunity for boosting intra-African trade if all the key stakeholders work together…”