The second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2020) will provide key pathways for the Rwandan private sector to access intra-African trade opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Managing Director of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative, Kanayo Awani,has said.
Addressing the opening of a roadshow held in Kigali, recently, to raise awareness about IATF2020 and to showcase Afreximbank products and services, Awani said the way each country prepared for the operational phase of the AfCFTA, which would commence on 1 July, would determine how successfully it would benefit from the initiative.
She said IATF2020 would provide strong business insight within Africa by connecting buyers and sellers of goods and services across the continent.
As the host country of IATF2020, Rwanda and Rwandan businesses would be the greatest beneficiaries of the trade fair, Awani said.
“IATF2020, we believe, will transform the way Africans trade with each other, and, specifically, the way Rwanda trades with other African countries,” she said.
CEO of Private Sector Federation Rwanda, Stephen Ruzibiza, which co-organised the roadshow, said the commencement of trade under the AfCFTA was a critical moment for Africa and that the efforts to be deployed would determine success.
“If we don’t put more emphasis now, then we may not realise the benefits of the AfCFTA and intra-African trade,” he told the audience.
The roadshow featured presentations of trade-enabling initiatives and a comprehensive suite of products and facilities available from Afreximbank. These included the Bank’s industrial parks projects; the Africa Quality Assurance Centres, which aims to address challenges relating to compliance with standards; the Centre of Excellence on health; the Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme and other instruments seeking to address the lack of access to finance by SMEs.