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Trade Development Forum to unpack intra-continental trade

Key stakeholders to assess Africa’s economic forecast and continental trade prospects at the upcoming Africa Trade Week in Johannesburg.

African governments, trade stakeholders and businesses are set to discuss the future of African trade and the impact of the new African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) at the upcoming Africa Trade Week in Johannesburg.

The AfCFTA, described as the flagship project of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, is designed to boost regional economic growth and development by creating ‘One Africa Market’ to boost intra-Africa trade across goods, services, investment, intellectual property rights, and competition policy. However, experts believe that if the project is not properly implemented, benefits may be limited.

Leading analysts, economists and other stakeholders will debate both the AfCFTA and overall African economic development in a two-day Trade Development Forum running alongside SAITEX Africa at Africa Trade Week, where pan-Africa’s trade and services sectors will convene for debate and business development.

The Trade Development Forum will assess how new AfCFTA entities will interact with existing trade regimes, with panels featuring the likes of Komi Tsowou, Economist at the United Nations, Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Wamkele Mene, Chief Negotiator for the AfCTA at the Department of Trade & Industry and Daniel Ngwepe, Senior Director for Government Relations in Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa.

Panellists, including Dr. Marta Bengoa, Associate Professor: International Economics at Colin Powell School at City University of New York; Talitha Bertelsmann-Scott, Head of Regional Observatory at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA); and Asmita Parshotam, Researcher in the Economic Diplomacy Programme at the South African Institute of International Affairs, will delve into prospects for a global trade war and its impacts on Africa.

Experts will also assess the best investment prospects across Africa, and Francois Fouche, Advisor at Trade Research Advisory – innovated by the North-West University, will explore whether ‘Slobalisation’ has replaced Globalisation. Cross-border e-commerce and the role of technology in trade development will come under discussion in a panel including the likes of Hendrik Malan, Partner at Frost & Sullivan Africa; Michelle Knowles, Head of Trade Finance Product Management at Absa Group Limited; and Tiego Nwokoro, Trade Economist at Ahia Advisory.

The AfCFTA will be a key theme running throughout SAITEX, one of Africa’s largest and best established multi-sector trade shows. The event, organised by dmg events and staged at Gallagher Estate from 23 – 25 June, showcases a broad range of trade opportunities and allows local and international importers and exporters to take advantage of inbound and outbound trade opportunities with hundreds of suppliers from 17 countries, with focused country pavilions, workshops, networking and business matchmaking.

Presented in partnership with the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa, knowledge partners Euromonitor International and Frost & Sullivan, and supported by international embassies, SAITEX brings together business owners, entrepreneurs, retailers, wholesalers and distributors from across the African continent.

Co-located with SAITEX, Africa’s Big 7 food and beverage trade show with its two-day FOODNEXT.AFRICA conference and The Hotel Show Africa hospitality trade show and its Hospitality Leadership Forum, will all be staged under the banner ‘Africa Trade Week’, a new integrated international trade event designed to establish South Africa as the gateway to the continent while delivering the latest cutting edge innovations, new ideas and products, trends, insight and future thinking.

To register for the Trade Development Forum, or to register as a visitor please visit

About Africa Trade Week

Africa Trade Week is the key new platform for continental trade across the retail, hospitality, food and beverage and wholesale sectors. Hosted by dmg events, Africa Trade Week 2019 will incorporate three leading exhibitions – The Hotel Show AfricaAfrica’s Big 7 and SAITEX, as well as their associated conferences and workshops, to create the new home of trade highlighting pan-African business opportunities, products, services, equipment, supplies, innovations, technology and solutions. Africa Trade Week will be held from 23rd – 25th June 2019, at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg.


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