ADDIS ABABA – Côte d’Ivoire’s capital, Abidjan will host the third edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) in November, 2023.
The government of Côte d’Ivoire signed the hosting agreement with African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union (AU) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat on Friday, which will officially confer Abidjan as the Host of IATF2023.
This will be the first time a West African nation city hosts the continental event, previously held in Cairo in 2018, and Durban in 2021.
“It is not a surprise that it will be held in a country that is not only the world’s largest producer of cocoa, but also the largest economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union,” said Albert M. Muchanga, AU Commissioner for Economic Development and Trade.
The Trade Fair has become a platform to bridge the trade, investment and business information gaps among market players across Africa.
“It brings together businesses from within and outside the Continent in a seven-day event of exhibitions, networking, information sharing as well as transacting,” said the AU Trade Commissioner.
Last November, South Africa successfully held the second edition Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban, and realized over $42.1 billion in trade and investment deals.
A total of 1501 exhibitors participated in the trade fair visited by over 32,500 people from 128 countries across Africa and beyond.
“When the curtains fell in Durban, new business relationships were forged, governments found new sources of food, capital goods and other items.,” said Prof. Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank.
“African banks found new opportunities for regional expansion. Fashion designers found new markets where the African creative industry found a new convening platform called the Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX),” Oramah said.
He also expressed his expectation of more success when the Trade fair train arrives in Abidjan.
“When it arrives in Abidjan in November 2023, it will make a stop in familiar territory, in a country that also values continental integration, and has been at the forefront to push for Africa’s collective self-reliance since the early 1960s,” he said.