Promote intra-African trade to boost growth

The Export Promotion Council (EPC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Peter Biwott has said Africa should take part in boosting its own trade through intra-trade fairs.

Biwott noted that buying commodities from other continents has derailed the intra-African trade and urged African countries to promote their trades by buying African goods.

Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday, Biwott said Kenya has taken part in a partnership with African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM) to benefit on the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) set to take place in Cairo this year December.

He explained that the IATF would expose the country trade sector and improve Kenya’s manufacturing sector growth from the current Sh648 billion to Sh2.35 trillion by 2022.

Kenya has a 0.006 percent share of the world market and our total exports of 89 percent go to the Africa continent. We are glad that our country participates in trade fairs in Uganda and Tanzania and now with moving to further countries, this will greatly boost our manufacturing agenda under the Big four, he said.

The CEO advised countries not to depend greatly on exporting raw materials because they won’t grow adding that Africa needed to focus a lot on agriculture sector to curb poverty.

The AFREXIM Bank Director, Dr. Robert Ochola said IATF sought to bring together continental and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services, and to explore business and investment opportunities in Africa.

IATF will serve as a marketplace where buyers and sellers of goods and services meet and explore business opportunities and provide a platform for business-to-business (B2B) exchanges and development of business opportunities, Ochola said.

He further said the attendees should share trade, investment and market information with stakeholders including investors, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the informal sector, Africans in Diaspora, and to identify solutions to address the challenges affecting intra-African trade.

IATF 2018 will bring under one roof key players from the following sectors; Manufacturing, Logistics, Engineering, Construction, Tourism, Entertainment, ICT, Heavy Industries, Finance, Agriculture and Agro-processing, the director said.

Ochola added that manufacturers would be able to showcase their products to potential distributers and exhibitors would also have the opportunity to engage with experts on intra-African trade who will share their expertise on various aspects.

The African Export-Import Bank is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade. The Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors. Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organization, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations.

IATF, which has been promoted by the AFREXIM bank and organized in collaboration with African Union (AU), will take place from 11th December to 17thDecember 2018.

Source: Kenya News Agency