CNBC Africa

Reach new African markets and grow your business with the IATF

After generating US$32 billion in trade and investment deals in 2018, the Intra African Trade Fair (IATF) is back, with more unrivalled opportunities for businesses looking to reach new markets in Africa.

Now in its second edition, the IATF is the only pan-African, business-to-business, cross-sector trade fair. It serves as an ideal place for buyers and sellers to meet, make valuable business connections, and explore trade opportunities. As well as this, industry experts from across the continent will lead conference discussions to help guide your business to success.

The trade fair will be happening from 6 to 12 September 2021, in Kigali, Rwanda – a city known for its creative start-ups, tech hubs, and growing investment climate. For visitors who are unable to attend the event in person, there is also a year-round virtual marketplace that provides a convenient and cost-efficient way to source or showcase goods and services.

Will attending benefit you and your business?

With a projected US$40 billion in trade and investment deals, over 1,100 exhibitors and 10,000 visitors from over 55 countries, the IATF2021 will be the biggest gathering of buyers and sellers on the continent.

The IATF facilitates meetings and networking opportunities with major African stakeholders (whether your clients are businesses, consumers or in government) – with many of them actively looking for the right business partnerships. With face-to-face networking sessions, a hosted buyers programme, and an online business match-making programme, the opportunity for meaningful networking can expand your reach into African markets.

The IATF also offers support to help finalise deals, so buyers, investors, entrepreneurs, and product manufacturers are more likely to meet the partners they need to expand.

As well as trade opportunities, attendees have the chance the learn. A rich and varied events programme at IATF2021 will feature leading African and international speakers to address the challenges affecting intra-African trade and offer practical and effective solutions. There will also be dedicated sessions and training workshops covering everything from exporting and standards to marketing.

What to expect from the exhibition

The fair gives exhibitors a direct route into a single African market of 1.2 billion people, giving you a chance to present your ideas, products or services to thousands of buyers and stakeholders from all over the African continent and beyond. There’s a lot of value on offer for exhibitors; they also get access to participant and press lists, with the option of contacting attendees (who have opted into communication) or scheduling meetings with journalists.

Can’t attend or exhibit? With the virtual trade fair, you can

For those who can’t travel to Rwanda, there’s a virtual space to exhibit and browse all year round. In an increasingly digital age, it’s important to provide a platform for businesses to connect with African markets without the need to travel. This innovative and cost-efficient platform allows you to promote, educate, and sell to a larger audience through virtual booths. Exhibitors and attendees can also engage via live text, audio, group, and one-on-one chat. The ‘networking lounge’ can be used to reach out to relevant business contacts, initiate private conversations, and join special interest groups.

The integrated online features of the fair really help to bring the physical experience into a virtual environment.

Learn more at the conference

Want to know how different sectors approach regulation challenges or what options to explore for funding your business growth?

This year, the focus of the conference is ‘Building Bridges for a Successful AfCFTA’, and discussions will centre around growth opportunities for intra-African cross-border trade and investments. Attendees will have a chance to gain industry knowledge and keep their businesses on the cutting edge. You can expect practical and reliable guidance on overcoming African trade challenges, no matter what stage your business is at or how big it is.

With investment at the core of the continent’s future growth, the conference aims to bring business owners and investors together to learn, share, and find collective solutions.

Get inspired with creative Africa

Of course, creativity is an important part of business and Africa is renowned for its creative minds. The IATF will host art and craft exhibitions that will inspire and excite you when you see how African art is changing cultural industries. There will be screenings of the latest blockbusters and independent gems, as well as filmmakers, artists, and craftspeople talking about their triumphs and challenges. Fashion designers (like Lilly Alfonso) will be showcasing their latest works at IATF2021, accompanied by daily catwalks in the exhibition area. Africa’s booming music industry will also take centre stage, with concerts featuring the most exciting performers from across the continent, plus Q&A and signing sessions.

Why wait?

In the wake of the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, there’s no better time for African businesses to connect and form strategic partnerships to build prosperity. The IATF is a unique and unmatched opportunity for your business to explore the vibrant and varied African business sector. Why wait when you can sign up today as an exhibitor or an attendee? https://www.intrafricantradefair.com/en