Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, chair of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2023) Advisory Council, believes that cooperation and collaboration will unlock the untapped potential of the African continent.
Obasanjo highlighted the potential of intra-African trade in fostering industrialization and job creation in African countries during a speech at the IATF2023 in Cairo.
The IATF2023, according to Obasanjo, was not just an exhibition of goods and services but also a platform for networking, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing.
He said: “It is bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and policymakers from across Africa and its diaspora to exchange ideas, forge partnerships and explore new opportunities.
“It is through this spirit of cooperation and collaboration that we will unlock the untapped potential of our continent.
“The trade fair signifies the commitment of Africa and its diaspora nations to economic integration and to their collective determination to create a prosperous future.”
He urged African leaders and policymakers to enhance trade by reducing bureaucracy, harmonising regulations, and investing in necessary infrastructure.
The IATF2023, he emphasized, represents a step towards a future where African nations can trade freely, breaking down barriers and providing opportunities for all.
The former Nigerian leader urges entrepreneurs to embrace entrepreneurship, unlock new markets, and leverage technology to connect small-scale farmers and empower women-owned businesses.
The IATF2023, Africa’s largest trade and investment fair, is organized by Afreximbank in collaboration with the African Union and AfCFTA Secretariat, attracting over 1,600 exhibitors.