Tue, 30 Nov 2021

JOHANNESBURG, Nov. 21 (Xinhua)-- The week-long Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 (IATF2021) ended on Sunday in South Africa's Durban city with 36 billion U.S. dollars trade deals sealed, said the organizer African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

Kanayo Awani, managing director of Afreximbank's intra-African trade initiative, made the announcement at the closing ceremony of the IATF21 on Sunday.

"We welcomed the 11,828 physical attenders over a target of 10,000. We had 59 exhibitors of which 46 are from the African continent and the remainder from other parts of the world," she said.

Tshifhiwa Modiba, managing director of Anwa Laboratoria which manufacture health products, said his company signed numerous deals in the fair.

"We have had fruitful meetings with businesspeople from Algeria, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Rwanda who want us to set up plants in their countries and manufacture there. We also met with companies who want to buy and distribute to their customers. We have been overwhelmed by the reception our products are receiving from countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Morocco and Malawi. The African Export-Import Bank has shown interest in funding us to expand our footprint across the continent," she said.

The chairperson of the IATF21 Advisory Council Olusegun Obasanjo said his "heart is full of joy" over the achievements made at the trade fair. He stated that despite the challenges of COVID-19 the show was very successful.

"We are celebrating the incredibly exciting event ... with so many deals being concluded. Many businesses did take advantage of the collaboration and networking opportunities," he said.

Wamkele Mene, secretary general of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, said the continent has huge infrastructure deficit which could be opportunities. He urged Africans to take up the opportunities to make AfCFTA a success.

"We now have opportunities to reduce and eliminate barriers to trade and investment in the continent. There is a high level of political and legal commitment Africa has never seen," he added.

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