Our 4th Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) Engagement Session on Thursday in Abidjan, was a great success. Mr. Kaladji Fadiga, Cote d'Ivoire's Managing Director of Foreign Trade, was one of the panelists, and he committed to the Ivory Coast hosting a national pavilion at the trade fair in December. One of the main topics of discussion amongst the panelists, was the issue of competitiveness in Africa, and how African countries can empower themselves to compete in a global market.
Former President of Afreximbank, and Vice President of the IATF 2018 Advisory Council, Mr. Jean-Louis Ekra, said that is important for African countries to continuously strive to do better, as we are competing not only with ourselves, but the rest of the world. Mr. Ekra also pointed out the value of an event like the Intra-African Trade Fair in addressing competitiveness, as it will provide a platform for information-sharing and an opportunity for African businesses to see what their counterparts in neighbouring countries are doing. This will assist in finding ways to improve production and efficiency.
Also represented on the panel, was Dr George Elombi, Executive Vice President – Governance, Legal & Corporate Services at Afreximbank. Dr. Elombi made the point, that one of the key obstacles to intra-African trade and competitiveness, is a lack of information. The IATF 2018 will provide a platform to address this.