“It Is time for Africa to take her destiny in her own hands and to determine her own developmental agenda. However, doing so will not be easy. It will require commitment, courage, and deliberate action. Traders need to seek out new market opportunities rather than the conventional route of turning to markets abroad”. Rallying words from Kanayo Awani, executive vice president, Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank, in her opening remarks as she addressed delegates at the High-Level Business Roadshow in Algiers, Algeria.

Awani congratulated Algeria for becoming a Member State of Afreximbank in June 2022. She stated that the African Continental Free Trade Area “promises to revolutionise trade, reshape markets across the region, boost output in the manufacturing and service sectors, and fundamentally transform Africa’s economic structure”. She lauded the opportunities that it will provide to Algeria’s businesses. She also explained the broad range of Afreximbank programmes and initiatives that can facilitate Algeria’s intra-African trade, such as the Africa Collaborative Transit Guarantee Scheme, which will mean for example that goods going from Algiers, Algeria to Lagos, Nigeria, will not need “a Customs Bond on every border as is the case today.” She also discussed the Bank’s programmes that support trade-enabling infrastructure especially those that address mobility and connectivity (road, rail, air, maritime, ports and logistics).

Speaking about the Intra-African Trade Fair, she said that it was created “to deal with the challenges of lack of access to trade and market information” and she praised the Algerian Government for deciding to hold a Country Day at IATF2023 in Cairo, saying that “it gives me confidence that Algeria is poised to lead the charge for African trade.”

The High-Level IATF Roadshow in Algiers also featured an impactful panel session themed: ‘Seizing opportunities under the AfCFTA: Empowering Manufacturers, Exporters, Investors, and relevant industry players’ that provided a platform for insightful discussions on a range of trade-related issues.

In his closing remarks, Mokhtar Gamil Tawfik Warida, Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Algeria, informed Roadshow delegates that “Egypt is ready to welcome Algerian businesses and companies to participate in the Intra-African Trade Fair, conference, and exhibition from 9 – 15 November. Egypt and Algeria have strong potential, they have strong will and the capacity to be leaders of economic cooperation in Africa and to bring to fruition the pan-Africa Free Trade Area.”

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