By Rudo Saungweme
The recent successful launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has brought into focus the great potential for trade and economic development across Africa.
This was revealed by Afreximbank Regional Chief Operating Officer, Humphry Nwugo during a business engagement meeting held today at Meikles Hotel in preparation for an Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) to be held in Cairo, Egypt from 11 to 17 December 2018.
“The recent successful launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has brought into focus the great potential for trade and economic development across Africa. With this in mind, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), in collaboration with the African Union (AU), is organising the first-ever Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) to be hosted by the Government of Egypt in Cairo from 11 to 17 December 2018.
“The inaugural Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF 2018), which will take place at the Egypt International Exhibition Centre, will provide a platform for sharing trade, investment and market information and opportunities. It will enable buyers and sellers, investors and countries to conclude business deals.”
Zimbabwe is among the twenty countries invited by Egypt to participate in the IATF.
The fair will enhance Zimbabwe`s expertise in various sectors of the economy in a drive to economic recovery as buyers and sellers of goods and services will be meeting and exploring business opportunities.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) businesses are being urged to participate at the IATF as their business has the biggest potential of contributing to the exports of the country.
SME’s Association President, Farai Mutambanengwe said, “SMEs need not to be left out on the IATF conference. They lack exposure so there is need for them to participate in this business to business forum. SMEs are also lagging behind in digitalisation because of lack of exposure. Zimbabwe SMEs have limited online services as compared to other regional SMEs.”
Mutambanengwe feels that it will be the right platform for Zimbabwe SME`s to share information about their trade facilitation and advisory services as a number of SMEs from across the country will be showcasing their products.