The Herald (Zimbabwe)

IATF2023 satisfacto­ry, exceeds set targets

- Kudzanai Sharara in Cairo Egypt

THE 2023 Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) that was held here from November 9 to 15, 2023 has been described by the organisers as a resounding success with set targets being exceeded.

The third Intra-African Trade Fair had a target to receive 35 000 visitors, 1 500 exhibitors and 75 countries.

Deals worth US$43 billion were expected to be sealed.

Most of these targets were, however, exceeded with 1 615 exhibitors participat­ing higher than the expected 1 500.

A total 118 out of the expected 75 countries participat­ed at the trade fair in various forms according to Dr Gainmore Zanamwe, acting director trade facilitati­ons, Afreximban­k.

“This is the score card and from our perspectiv­e the scorecard is looking good,” said Dr Zanamwe.

Deals signed will however be announced at a later date as figures were still being collated.

Zimbabwe also participat­ed with ZimTrade chief executive officer Allan Majuru expressed satisfacti­on with the overall fair.

Mr Majuru highlighte­d deals signed by CABS, US$40 million and Exodus and Company $141 as some of the notable successes.

The major highlight was probably the US$2 billion framework agreement for the Export Agricultur­e for Food Security (ExAFS) Initiative with ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms (ARISE IIP) and the government­s of Chad, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Egypt.

Minister of Lands, Agricultur­e, Fisheries, Water and Rural Developmen­t Dr Anxious Masuka signed on behalf of Zimbabwe.

Mr Majuru said the deal will allow the country to increase its food exports with wheat being one of the targets.

“Most importantl­y our minister of agricultur­e (Dr Masuka) was one of the ministers that signed the US$2 billion facility to grow wheat for export which is quite good. So now the next thing is to go on the ground and identify the farmers who are going to benefit from this facility.”

Mr Majuru said when it comes to firms that were exhibiting at the Zimbabwe pavilion, there were a number of objectives to be met.

He said while the target was to achieve deals worth US$20 million, with informatio­n yet to be collated, other objectives were met.

“I think for us there are a number of objectives, number one to strike deals, number two to make leads that will become deals in the future, number three its also a learning curve for our existing exporters,” Mr Majuru said.

He said Zimtrade had brought participan­ts from the Eagle’s Nest and the Next She Exporter programmes and Egypt with a strong leather and textile sector will help them learn a lot.

Majuru said following the Egypt-Zimbabwe Business Forum, there are now plans to bring in Egyptian counterpar­ts to Zimbabwe.

He said the leather sector and horticultu­re sector have brighter prospects.

Rukunda Pride founder Paula Mazvita, whose products were commended for being of higher quality confessed that the fair had opened her eyes that she could do even better.

“I gained so much exposure. I think the first quarter I am going to focus on product developmen­t because this fair for me made me realise that for us to be competitiv­e, in the export market, we definitely develop our product so that when we get in these markets we are competitiv­e and we are offering a bigger value propositio­n.

“I feel like this is an opportunit­y for me to be different from other local players and producers of local products, said Ms Mazvita.

Her sentiments were shared by her Moreda founder Dareen Binha.

“As Moreda we have managed to learn to explore and connect with other stakeholde­rs.

He said through interactio­ns, he had managed to get valuable insights that would help in product developmen­t.

“This was a very good event and fruitful for us, exposure-wise.”

Organised by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximban­k), in collaborat­ion with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Continenta­l Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretaria­t, the IATF is intended to provide a unique platform for facilitati­ng trade and investment informatio­n exchange in support of increased intra-African trade and investment, especially in the context of implementi­ng the African Continenta­l Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

IATF brings together continenta­l and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services and to explore business and investment opportunit­ies in the continent.

It also provides a platform to share trade, investment and market informatio­n with stakeholde­rs and allows participan­ts to discuss and identify solutions to the challenges confrontin­g intra-African trade and investment.

In addition to African participan­ts, the Trade Fair is also open to businesses and investors from non-African countries interested in doing business in Africa and in supporting the continent’s transforma­tion through industrial­isation and

 ?? ?? Dr Zanamwe
Dr Zanamwe

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