Afreximbank urges Rwandan businesses to exploit IATF2020 to tap AfCFTA benefits


Managing  Director and Chief Executive of Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative, Ms Kanayo Awani, has said that the second Intra-African Trade Trade Initiative (IATF2020) will provide key pathways for the Rwandan private sector to access intra-African trade opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Addressing the opening of a roadshow held in Kigali on Tuesday, to raise awareness about IATF2020 and to showcase Afreximbank products and services, Ms. Awani said that the way each country prepared for the operational phase of the AfCFTA, which will commence on  July 1, would determine how successfully it would benefit from the initiative. She said that IATF2020 would provide strong business insight within Africa by connecting buyers and sellers of goods and services across the continent.

As the host country of IATF2020, Rwanda and Rwandan businesses would be the greatest beneficiaries of the trade fair, said Ms. Awani. “IATF2020, we believe, will transform the way Africans trade with each other, and, specifically, the way Rwanda trades with other African countries,” she said.

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Stephen Ruzibiza, CEO of Private Sector Federation Rwanda, which co-organised the roadshow, said that the commencement of trade under the AfCFTA was a critical moment for Africa and that the efforts to be deployed would determine success.

“If we don’t put more emphasis now, then we may not realise the benefits of the AfCFTA and intra-African trade,” he told the audience.

The roadshow featured presentations of trade-enabling initiatives and a comprehensive suite of products and facilities available from Afreximbank. These include the bank’s industrial parks projects; the Africa Quality Assurance Centres, which aim to address challenges relating to compliance with standards; the Centre of Excellence on health; the Afreximbank Trade Facilitation Programme and other instruments seeking to address the lack of access to finance by SMEs, among others.

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