The second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) has confirmed its new dates, with the event’s organisers saying it will take place from 8 to 14 December 2021.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the African Union (AU), and the Rwandan Government decided to shift the fair’s date, which was previously scheduled for 6 to 12 September 2021.
The move allows for a broader roll-out of vaccination against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines across Africa, and ensures that the event is held under the most optimal health conditions.
The decision was taken at the IATF2021 Advisory Council’s extraordinary meeting, which was held virtually on 18 March. The new date will enable organisers to take stock of all the latest safety precautions, allow for wider roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, and for the effective COVID-19 safety and prevention protocols to be put in place.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, IATF2021 Advisory Council Chairperson and former President of Nigeria, said that the new date would also give countries and businesses more time to prepare for IATF2021.
“Our intent is that all participants garner the full benefits of the abundant networking, trade, and investment opportunities that will arise at IATF2021,” Obasanjo said, “Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot of enthusiasm for the event, and the extra time given to preparatory activities and effective roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines will allow IATF2021 to be held under favourable conditions, giving more confidence to participating governments, exhibitors, buyers, conference delegates and other visitors.”
He added, “IATF2021 will bring together continental and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services, and explore business and investment opportunities enabled by the single market created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to accelerate Africa’s integration and industrialisation agenda.”
IATF2021 is organised by Afreximbank, in collaboration with the AU and hosted by the Government of Rwanda.
The event will play a crucial role in assisting and enabling businesses and corporates across Africa to share trade and market information. It will also help them conclude business deals that are critical in supporting the implementation of the AfCFTA.