The 2-day forum and put forth proposals to bolster trade and financial ties between Zanzibar and Africa in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)


ZANZIBAR, Tanzania: The Zanzibar Trade and Investment Forum has strengthened business and investment partnerships. The 2-day forum and put forth proposals to bolster trade and financial ties between Zanzibar and Africa in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The second day of the Forum was graced by Hon. Omar Shaaban, Minister of Trade and Industrial Development of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar said “ the AFCFTA will enhance industrialization in Africa, strengthen continental value chains and value addition” He expounded that Africans will benefit from the natural resources with the implementation of AfCFTA.”

Hon.  Omar Shaaban commended Arexmbank for coming up with pioneering services and products to assist companies to trade across African borders.

Officiating the closing ceremony, Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, EABC CEO said “In 2021 the EAC Gross Domestic Product bounced back at 6.3% but is projected slow at 5.1% in 2022 due to global shocks such as the Russia-Ukraine crisis.”

He explained that despite the global shocks, the EAC bloc is still the most integrated and fastest-growing regional economic bloc in Africa as the continent’s GDP is projected at 3.6% in 2022.

Mr. Kalisa emphasized the paramount importance to improve industrial productive capacity & infrastructure connectivity, eliminating Non-Tariff Barriers, and easing access to capital & trade finance to increase intra-Africa trade.  He noted that Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania have been chosen to champion intra-Africa trade under the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative.

Speaking during the panel session on Creating the Conditions for Growth: Challenges and Opportunities for Private Sector, Hon. Toufiq Salim Turky, Executive Chairman Vigor called for the need to empower and integrate SMEs to trade opportunities in the blue economy and services sectors.

In her contribution to the session, Ms. Lizanne Case, Senior Manager, Trade and Information, Afreximbank said Afreximbank trader intelligence disseminates practical information on African supply chains to ease access to information. She said Africa is the next growth frontier.

Mr. Daud Mohamed from Zanzibar Chambers of Commerce said African companies should focusing on di  products and market differentiation to boost export competiveness. He also emphasized the need to enhance access to business & trade information for SMEs.

Mr. Kudakwashe Matereke, Regional Chief Operating Officer, Eastern Africa, Afreximbank, Mr. Moto N. Lugobi, Economist, Central Bank of Tanzania (BOT), Dr. Estella Ngo’ma Hassan, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, People’s Bank of Zanzibar shared insights on strategies to enhance financing for Africa’s Recovery in light of Global External Shocks.

The Forum also held a panel session on Food Security, Agricultural Productivity
and Agribusiness and presented a case study on investing in real estate in Zanzibar focusing on Fumba Town.

Mr. Kalisa also lauded Afreximbank for being a truly pan-African bank. He advised businesses to utilize tools and solutions offered by Afreximbank to facilitate trade such as the Pan African Payment Settlement System, Trade Intelligence Solutions, Project related Financing, Fund for Export Development in Africa and Africa Due Diligence Platform (MANSA) and take part in the Intra-Africa Trade Fair slated in November 2023 in Cote D’Ivoire.

The Zanzibar Trade and Investment Forum convened 300 delegates composed of officials from the Ministries and Investment Promotion Agencies, International Investors and Business leaders. 

The Zanzibar Trade and Investment Forum was organized the by African Export-Import Bank in collaboration with the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA), East Africa Business Council (EABC) and the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC).


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