Increase intra African trade – Panel

Abidjan- CAte d’Ivoire can significantly increase the benefits of trade with other African countries and transform the West African region by expanding its supply of raw materials and industrial goods to Africa to fuel its burgeoning light manufacturing sector.

This was a recommendation by high-level experts during a panel discussion.

The panel included former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Jean Louis Ekra, former President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Dr. Vaflahi Meite, Executive Director of the General Confederation of Enterprises of CAte d’Ivoire (CGECI), and Dr. George Elombi, Executive Vice President, Governance, Legal Services and Corporate Services, Afreximbank.

The discussion was organized by Afreximbank as part of a stakeholder engagement event to promote the Fair Intra-African Trade (IATF) in Cairo from 11 to 17 December 2018.

The speakers emphasized the need for CAte d’Ivoire to strengthen its capacity in the processing of edible oils in order to improve its commercial performance.

Held under the theme “Strategy to deepen trade between CAte d’Ivoire and Africa”, the round table focused on the main issues to be resolved to increase trade between CAte d’Ivoire and Africa.

Alain-Richard Donwahi, Minister of Water and Forests of CAte d’Ivoire, thanked Afreximbank for its work in favor the expansion of African trade and for the organization of this fair.

The minister announced that CAte d’Ivoire would take full advantage of the fair to present its commercial opportunities, investments, tourism and culture.

He requested that the candidacy of CAte d’Ivoire be considered as host of the second edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF).

Ms. Kanayo Awani, Director General of the Afreximbank Intra-African Trade Initiative, said IATF would support the emergence of a vibrant private sector that would lead the process of structural transformation of the African and Ivorian economies.

Felix Anoble, Secretary of State to the Minister of Commerce, Industry and SME Promotion of CAte d’Ivoire, speaking on behalf of the Minister, pledged government support for IATF and stated that the country had taken the necessary measures to ensure effective participation of all Ivorian economic operators.

The session brought together 223 participants from the public and private sectors of French-speaking West African countries.

The Intra-African Trade Fair is organized by Afreximbank in collaboration with the African Union and hosted by the Government of Egypt.

It will be held at the Cairo International Exhibition Centre and would provide a platform for sharing information on trade, investment and markets.

Source: Ghana News Agency