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AfCFTA success demands mindset shift by African firms – Official

The success of the African Continental Free Trade Area will demand a major mindset shift by the business community to…

The success of the African Continental Free Trade Area will demand a major mindset shift by the business community to ensure that there is greater confidence in local products, a senior official has said.Speaking during a meeting with the South African business community in Cape Town on Wednesday, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) head of export development Oluranti Doherty said unlocking the AfCFTA market would require a change of mindset.  

“It will require courage on the part of traders to seek out new market opportunities on the continent, rather than the current convention of jumping on a plane to China and other countries overseas,” Doherty said. 

She said the forthcoming Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) set for the South African port city of Durban in November this year would provide a platform for the African private sector to gauge the level of opportunities offered by the AfCFTA.

“We see the IATF playing a significant role in making intra-African trade a reality thereby supporting the implementation of the AfCFTA by providing a platform for buyers and sellers, investors and governments, to connect, exchange trade, investment and market information and conclude business deals,” Doherty said. 

Afreximbank is on a roadshow together with the African Union and the AfCFTA Secretariat to promote the IATF2021, which is set to take place from 15-21 November. 

The Cape Town roadshow featured a panel discussion under the theme “Unlocking Regional and Global Value Chains Through the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area”.

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