The biggest trade and investment event on the continent, the Intra-African Trade Fair 2023 (IATF 2023), is being sponsored by Ecobank Group (www.Ecobank.com), the major pan-African banking group. The event is scheduled to take place in Cairo, Egypt, from November 9–15, 2023. This year, “Connecting African Markets” is the theme.
With the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the event will give corporations a platform to expand their intra-African trade and investments throughout the continent’s 1.4 billion inhabitants. Over 1,600 exhibitors showcasing their products and services, over 35,000 attendees, and US$43 billion in trade and investment deals are anticipated at IATF 2023. Additionally, the event is expected to accelerate Africa’s commercial and economic growth and development, which is in line with Ecobank’s primary mission.
Group Executive for Corporate and Investment Banking at Ecobank Group Eric Odhiambo stated: “IATF offers Africa’s businesses unparalleled chances to network, establish connections, and execute agreements with purchasers and sellers from throughout the continent. Ecobank is positioned as the “go to” bank for payments and commerce thanks to our extensive suite of banking products, services, solutions, and our well-established digital infrastructure, which enables smooth payments and collections across our 35 countries of presence in Africa. We have also implemented a number of programs to help businesses expand and prosper, such as the revolutionary Ecobank Single Market Trade Hub that links importers and exporters throughout Africa.
A state-of-the-art digital platform called the Ecobank Single Market Trade Hub functions as a clearinghouse for information and a platform for trade. It was created to meet the changing needs of corporates and SMEs in Africa’s single market. Because Ecobank has a network advantage due to its presence in 35 African markets, the Trade Hub lessens the asymmetry in trade information and takes advantage of Ecobank’s large clientele. With over 2,000 users currently registered on the platform, the Trade Hub provides the following crucial functions and services:
MyTradeHub: An online marketplace that connects importers and exporters with customers and suppliers across Africa by allowing them to showcase their products and services, establish company profiles, and exchange goods and services.
AfCFTA proficiency: An invaluable resource for corporates and SMEs to familiarize themselves with the single market and strategies for growing their business into new African markets, providing expertise and information on the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Trade and Payment Solutions: Provides access to all of Ecobank’s online and offline offerings, including investment banking, cash management, trade finance and services, international and domestic payments and collections, and more.
Additional services offered by Ecobank to support intra-African trade include RapidCollect, which enables companies to receive payments from clients in 33 countries immediately and affordably with just one account in the country of origin, and Google My Business Platform, which helps companies establish a free website and establish an online presence.
Furthermore, for Central Banks in our operating nations that have not yet enrolled in the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS), Ecobank will serve as an interbank settlement agent.
IATF 2023 is expected to be a major player in increasing knowledge of the AfCFTA, assisting African firms in seizing its advantages, opening up new markets around the continent, encouraging investments, and strengthening value chains. The Ecobank Group is happy to be a sponsor of the IATF2023, and it is committed to continue contributing significantly to achieving the goals of the AfCFTA.