By Salim Yunusa
President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Paris for Durban, South Africa, to attend the 2nd Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) 2021 which takes place on Monday.
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, who confirmed the president’s trip to South Africa, said he would join other African leaders at the Official Opening Ceremony of the IATF 2021 at a special invitation by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
According to Adesina, Buhari would be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Director General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar and the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Segun Awolowo.
He stated that the event, holding from November 15 to November 21, was being convened by the African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM) in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat.
He said the theme of the Fair, Building Bridges for a Successful AfCFTA, was aimed at boosting trade and investment across the African continent.
“It also promises to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive across the African continent; bring to fruition the lofty ideas behind the creation of the AfCFTA by providing the platform to further identify and proffer solutions to challenges militating against intra-African trade and; generate market information needed to connect buyers and sellers throughout the continent.
“Global businesses including non-African international brands are expected to key into opportunities generated by the fair, thereby attracting for the continent trade and investment deals worth $40billion. Various Nigerian investors are already in Durban to take advantage of the event,” the statement added.
The presidential aide said President Buhari is expected back in Nigeria on Tuesday, November 16.