The week-long event saw the attendance of a diverse audience including government officials, policy-makers, industry leaders and institutional heads from African countries and other regions to discuss trade, the creative industry, Africa’s post-covid economic recovery and the contient’s position on global trade in the perspective of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

DURBAN, South Africa: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) ( joined partners, involved parties in the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, strategic stakeholders and public and private sector players for the 2021 edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) that took place in the city of Durban in South Africa.

The ITFC delegation to the event led by the ITFC Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol was invited to many panels to share the ITFC vision and programs aiming to accelerate trade across the African Continent and beyond. In addition, ITFC organized two side events engaging stakeholders in the pharmaceutical and trade sectors.

The Roundtable on the Harmonisation of Standards for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices in Africa which took place on the 17th November 2021 brought together speakers from Afreximbank, ITFC, ARSO, the AfCFTA Secretariat, the African Union Commission among other leading stakeholders.

The event exposed the impact of the local manufacturing of vaccines and drugs on Africa’s industrialization and its recovery from the pandemic and concluded with key players in the African healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors and partners pledging to invest more in the growth of the sectors.

The delegation also facilitated under the umbrella of the AATB Program the 4th Edition of the Arab-African Business Matching Meeting on Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices on the 17th and 18th November 2021.

The Meeting bridges the gap between businessmen and concerned officials from the Arab and African regions and to increase the trade and investment opportunities between countries of both regions.

It also offered Arab pharmaceutical producers the opportunity to liaise and establish business contacts with the importers and national pharmacies in Africa.

ITFC’s CEO also took part and addressed the gathering at the hight level panel on the power of trade fairs in opening markets and building trade and investment bridges , and on a panel on trade promotion initiatives of multilateral development finance institutions in the context of the AfCFTA.

Speaking to ITFC’s commitment to intra-Africa trade and its presence at the event Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, ITFC CEO, said: “ITFC and its partners have been committed to powering intra-Africa and Arab Africa trade over the years and our presence at the 2021 Intra-Africa Trade Fair is in line with that commitment.

It gave us the opportunity to expose the progress made so far on the harmonisation of standards of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in Africa and access the current state of intra-Africa from the perspective of our partners and other key players on the continent.

We have shared ideas and learnt more about the post-covid dynamics and we shall make use of all that as well as the new synergies we built to serve our member-countries better.”

The event ended with a renewed commitment from various stakeholders towards facilitating intra-Africa and Arab-Africa trade leveraging on the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the AATB Program.


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