Curtain comes down at IATF 2021 in Durban – Deals worth US$36 billion recorded so far

African Export-Import Bank: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 December 2021:

Deals worth $36 billion were recorded as of 21 November 2021 at the second Intra Africa Trade Fair (IATF 2021). IATF 2021 took place from 15 to 21 November in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Presenting the preliminary report of the IATF 2021, Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra African Trade Initiative, reported on Sunday at the closing ceremony in Durban 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.

Photo by IAFT: The show floor at the Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 is alive as momentum picks up with deals being made and relationships being forged.

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 day 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.

About the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021)

Organised by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF 2021) took place in Durban from 15 to 21 November 2021.

IATF2021 provided a platform to promote trade under the AfCFTA. It brought together continental and global buyers and sellers, and enabled stakeholders to share trade, investment and market information as well as trade finance and trade facilitation solutions designed to support intra-African trade and the economic integration of the continent.

In addition to establishing business-to-business and business-to-government exchange platforms for business deals and advisory services, IATF2021 also operated IATF2021 Virtual, an interactive online platform that replicates the physical event. IATF2021 also focused on Africa’s creative economy as well as the automotive industry with dedicated programmes.

A conference run alongside the exhibition and featured high-profile speakers and panellists addressing topical issues relating to trade, trade finance, payments, trade facilitation, trade-enabling infrastructure, trade standards, industrialisation, regional value chains and investment.

The third edition of IATF will take place in 2023 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

For further information about IATF2021 please visit


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