Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 to conclude

The 2021 Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) will conclude today in Durban, South Africa. The second IATF is expected to draw

Photo: Intra-African Trade Fair 2021

The 2021 Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) will conclude today in Durban, South Africa.

The second IATF is expected to draw roughly $40 billion in investments and trade deals to the continent and was convened by the African Export-Import Bank in collaboration with the African Union Commission and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat. The AfCFTA is the world’s largest free-trade area by number of participating nations, and this year’s IATF theme is “Building Bridges for a Successful AfCFTA.”

AfCFTA launched this year and is envisioned as a driver of continent-wide economic growth as African nations seek to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its success hinges on the political will of participating nations to cooperate following the failure of previous, smaller regional African trade blocs.

Expect ITAF 2021 to lay the groundwork for development across Africa in the coming year, with participants likely focusing on sustainability and growing intra-continental trade. As the world’s youngest and second most populous continent, Africa is well-positioned for long-term growth. Blocs like the AfCFTA are designed to capitalize on such opportunities, though much of the infrastructure needed to secure the success of institutions like the AfCFTA is still absent.

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