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AFCFTA, AFREXIM Bank partnership to boost intra-African trade, says Wamkele Mene

Wamkele Mene, the secretary-general of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)says its partnership with the Africa Exim Bank, Afreximbank, has deepened trade among members and boosted intra-African trade.

Mene who was speaking at the second edition of the Intra Africa Trade Fair in South Africa said the plan is to boost Intra Africa trade above its current 18% mark.

“Our ambition is that by the year 2035 we boost Intra Africa trade above the 18% which ends the year 2021. And we believe that these trade fairs are one of the tools for being able to get us to the point where we have double Intra Africa trade by 2035. That is why the partnership we have with Afreximbank is of critical importance because we want to demonstrate results in boosting Intra Africa trade

He also indicated that the Africa free trade secretariat’s Pan-African payment and settlement system will enable traders to transact business on a digital platform in any part of the African continent without worrying about currency conversion.

“We’re also working with Afreximbank to establish a Pan-African payment and settlement system that will enable you to transact in real-time on a digital platform with somebody or an entity in another part of the African continent using your local currency,” he added.

The Intra-African Trade Fair is one of the largest trade shows that provide a platform for sharing trade, investment and market information and enabling buyers and sellers, investors and countries to meet, discuss and conclude business deals.

Organised by the African Union, African Export-Import Bank and the Government of the Republic of South Africa, the fair offers an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their goods and services, and engage in Business to Business.

It further provides a unique and valuable platform for businesses to access an integrated African market of over 1.2 billion people with a GDP of over US$2.5 trillion created under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

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