The second IATF Engagement Session themed “MADE IN AFRICA: Manufacturing for an industrializing Africa” was held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa on 26 June. Dr. Benedict Oramah, President of Afeximbank, was joined on a panel by Mr. Alec Erwin, Chairman of UBU Investment Holdings, Mr. Vuyani Jarana, CEO of South African Airways, Kutoane Kutoane, CEO of the ECIC and Mr. Robert Gumede, Executive Chairman of Gijima Group Limited. The Intra-African Trade Fair Advisory Council Chairman, President Olusegun Obasanjo, was the guest of honour at the event. The Engagement Session also marked the launch of the South Africa-Africa Trade and Investment Promotion Programme (SATIPP), a $1 billion financing programme to promote and expand trade and investments between South Africa and the rest of Africa. SATIPP is a joint initiative between Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) of South Africa and Afreximbank.
The panelists engaged in an interesting and animated discussion around issues of intra-African trade, specifically focused on how South Africa can increase trade with the rest of Africa. The panelists agreed that the key to achieving industrialization and economic growth on the continent, is engagement in intra-African trade. Dr. Oramah said that the biggest impediment to intra-African trade is a lack of information. The Intra-African Trade Fair 2018 is designed to address this by providing a platform to connect buyers and sellers with a view to making business deals and exchanging trade information. The South African Department of Trade and Industries (DTI) representative at the Engagement Session, Ms. Lerato Mataboge, said that the DTI would be sending a large delegation to the Intra-African Trade Fair 2018 in Cairo in December as a demonstration of South Africa’s commitment to the promotion of regional trade.