President Muhammadu Buhari is expected on Saturday to leave Paris in France for Durban, South Africa, at the special invitation of President Cyril Ramaphosa, to take part in the inauguration of the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) 2021.

The event which is billed to kick off on November 15 and end on November 21, was 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.

This disclosure is contained in a statement titled, ‘President Buhari Leaves Paris For Intra African Trade Fair In South Africa,‘ signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Saturday.

What the Presidential media aide is saying

The statement from Adesina reads, “President Muhammadu Buhari will, Saturday, leave Paris for Durban, South Africa, at a special invitation by President Cyril Ramaphosa, to join other African leaders at the Official Opening Ceremony of the 2nd Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 which takes place on Monday.

“The event, holding from November 15 to November 21, is being convened by the African Export-Import Bank in collaboration with the African Union Commission and the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat.

“The theme of the Fair, Building Bridges for a Successful AfCFTA aims 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 President will be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adebayo; Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar; and the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Segun Awolowo.

“President Buhari is expected back in Nigeria on Tuesday, November 16.”

In case you missed it

Recall that the President who has been out of the country for almost 2 weeks, on October 31, 2021, jetted out of Abuja to Glasgow, Scotland to attend the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Nigerian leader thereafter travelled to Paris, France, from Glasgow on an official visit to reciprocate an earlier one to Nigeria by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, and also attend the Paris Peace forum 2021.

The trip was coming barely a day after the president returned from Saudi Arabia, where he took part in an investment conference and performed lesser hajj in Madina and Makka.