Durban will host the rescheduled second edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) after Rwanda said logistical constraints related to the Covid-19 pandemic had adversely affected the progress on the construction of a new facility for the event, the organisers have said.
Kigali, Rwanda was supposed to host the event from December 8 to 14.
In a statement Monday, IATF2021 Advisory Council chairperson Olusegun Obasanjo said Durban will host the event from November 15 to 21.
“Relocating IATF2021 to Durban saves us time on the calendar and will enable African countries and corporates, as part of their recovery strategy, to take full advantage of the Trade Fair, which is also an important component of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement under which trading commenced this year,” Obasanjo said.
He said a number of people would have been vaccinated by November, having undertaken a comprehensive assessment of the measures that are being taken by the AU and Afreximbank under the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team as well as other initiatives to procure vaccines for the continent.
“We will continue working with the Government of South Africa to ensure that all the Covid-19 measures are complied with during the Trade Fair as the safety of both residents and visitors is paramount,” Obasanjo said.
“We congratulate the Government of the Republic of South Africa and KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and thank them for the swift efforts that are being made to ensure that IATF2021 safely accommodates the growing number of participating governments, exhibitors, buyers, conference delegates, and visitors that have confirmed their participation in the event.”
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said the province was honoured to host the event as it implements” our own Economic Reconstruction, Recovery and Transformation Plan”.
“Based on plans announced by our President Cyril Ramaphosa on rolling out the Covid-19 vaccination programme in South Africa, we will be ready in November to host our brothers and sisters in Durban for this Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021),” Zikalala said.