There is general consensus in the ongoing Intra African Trade Fair in Durban, South Africa that the economic storyline of colonialism persists to this day. Participants have decried a situation where Africa exports raw materials and imports finished goods made with those materials as this provides employment and adds value in other economies, while African people live in poverty and under-development.
Africans must resist the temptation to simply become trans-shipment centres and tap into the AfCFTA to promote complementary trade between countries. The Intra-African Trade Fair can serve as a trigger to create a market large enough to attract investors from across the world to set up their production facilities on the continent. The share of Intra African trade remains low: on average 13% for intra-imports and 20% for intra exports. The Intra African Trade Fair could be a concrete step towards the continent writing its own economic success story, if respective participants become visionary and focused towards achieving the African dtream.