Do you want to double your profit in 2018 and grow your business internationally? Attend Kaduna International Trade Fair

Here are 13 ways Kaduna International Trade  Fair 2018 can help you achieve your goals (whether you are a start-up, medium or large-scale enterprise)

The 39th edition of the Kaduna International Trade Fair comes up in February 2018.   A platform that can help you grow your business and achieve your marketing dreams.


Kaduna International Trade  Fair organised by Kadccima

Kaduna International Trade  Fair 2018 organised by Kadccima, Kaduna Chambers of Commerce, industry, mines and agriculture


However, before we delve into that, I want to share this story with you:

The stuntman and the strange wall

The dome was filled.

A motley crowd jostled to observe the spectacle unfolding.

 Shoving one another and stepping on unseen toes to gain viewing advantage. 

We could have passed for club supporters at a football match.

 Only that many were silent, or the indistinct murmur of anticipation.

  None of the excited din of football addicts at a soccer pitch.  We were  a captive audience, enraptured by the unfolding drama.

My heart pounded. 

A scarred voice echoed within.  “Something evil or terrible will happen now.” 

But I could not peel my eyes off the bike sitting at the bottom of the dome.  Everyone waited in breathless anticipation.

Then, the stuntman walked over to his bike at the base of the dome.  The engines purred.  Revved, and then faster, threatening to explode.

 All eyes zoomed in his direction. 


Image of a stuntman riding his motorbike on the wall of a motordrome

Riding the “Wall-of-Death”

“What are you talking about?”

Did I hear you ask?

Well, as a kid in the 1980’s, I found myself along with family members at the Kaduna International Trade fair.

There were many side attractions at the carnival-like event.

The “wall-of-death” was a super attraction.

We were in the dome.   A  mobile, cylinder-shaped wooden ‘circus arena,’  installed at one wing of the Fairground.

The dome allowed for spectators at the top, granting a strategic view of the  stuntmen and their motorbikes at the base.

The act began.

A   rider mounted.  Revved and began to circle the base like an airplane, planning for takeoff.

From the slow ascent, he accelerated and begun a blistering ride on the vertical walls, defying the laws of gravity.

I gaped, stunned.

A man near me muttered in Hausa

 “Wan nan asiri ne”  

This act is black magic.  He declared, to rationalize the logic of a bike,  bent, cruising on vertical  walls.

That indeed is my early experience of a trade fair.


Image of school children at Kaduna International Trade Fair

Primary School Pupils at Kaduna International Trade Fair

But beyond the entertainment value of my first visit to the Kaduna International Trade Fair, I have since grown to appreciate its economic importance.

I now understand how the Fair is impacting the nation’s economy, changing fortunes and helping business owners to actualize their dreams.

A Fair for the nation

Image of young Fulani women with calabash

Fulani women with calabash in a cultural display at Kaduna International Trade Fair

The story of the Kaduna International Trade Fair and its impact on the nation’s economy is like the story of an enterprise or a business venture.

It has a start-up phase.  Grows, and navigates its way across the business terrain.  It encounters challenges.  While some enterprises thrive, others fall by the wayside.

For those that survive, the steep climb to the top there is indeed a lot to share with others.

Kaduna International Trade Fair falls into the categories of survivors in the challenging world of business.  Almost four-decade since its inception, it is waxing stronger.

But how did it all start?

Before cruising back in time, it is important to clarify our perspectives on what indeed constitutes a trade fair.

Having a working definition will no doubt help in our assessment of the journey so far, we have come in the effort to gift Nigeria world an international trade exhibition.

What is a Trade Fair?

Not everyone shares this definition.  Wikipedia describes a trade fair (trade show, trade exhibition, or expo)  as an exhibition organized so that companies can display and demonstrate their latest products and services.

The fair also offers businesses the opportunity to scrutinize the activities of competitors and study market trends.

While some fairs focus on a specific industry, others are, open to all sectors of the economy.

A history worth recounting

Trade fairs across the world have a long and rich history.

It has been part of society beginning from ancient days down to the medieval era.

Fairs have come through the industrial revolution, becoming a fixture of modern economies.

Some sources incline that the concept of trade fairs must have started when humans started to live in cities. A period between 6000 or 5000 BC.

At this time, the trade was among residents in the townships and those from the hinterland.  And the primary items of exchange were food and crafts.  But in time, it evolved and extended between regions and nations.

Indeed, trade fairs were commonplace in Africa long before the coming of Europeans.

They occurred in the form of periodic local markets.  But as  more people travelled to other kingdoms, empires, and cities, international markets sprung up along the travelling routes and travellers resting posts.

An example is the Trans Saharan Trade, which originated from North Africa, passed through the desert down to the Savannah region of Nigeria.  To stop-over’s in cities such as Kano and Katsina.

The traders brought goods and exchanged them for local commodities.

Trading routes also developed in the southern parts of the country.  Many routed along and within states in the southwest and southeast.

Modern Day Trade Fair and its origins in Nigeria

The colonial government in 1958 organized a “made-in-Nigeria” domestic fair.

In 1962, the Federal Government organized an international trade fair.

It was the first of its kind in tropical Africa and witnessed participation by many developed countries.  Including the two super-powers of the day (the United States of America and the USSR).

Forty-one countries attended the first international trade fair in Lagos and 300 commercial organizations participated.

President, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe declared the Fair, open, while Minister of Commerce, Zannar Baker announced  at the close that the event was a huge success.   Stating  that it had achieved part of its goals of   “diversifying trade channels”.

However, it took 16 years to organize another  International trade fair (i.e. in 1978).

In the interim, some state governments organized made-in-Nigeria Fairs that took place in the state capitals and attracted indigenous businesses.

The birth of Kaduna International Trade Fair

The Kaduna Trade fair was a regional event started in 1974.  The maiden edition attracted 20 local companies with 35 stands.

The second and third editions came in 1976 and 1978.

In 1979, organizers of the Kaduna Trade Fair (the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce) decided to expand its scope.  Thus the Kaduna international trade fair was born.

The premier edition was a huge success.   It recorded over 250 participants from home and abroad.  With exhibitors from the US, Japan, Britain, West Germany and France.

Turnover at that edition was estimated at over N18 million (Eighteen Million Naira).

How we started the Kaduna International Trade Fair – Alhaji Bawa Garba

According to the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industry, and Agriculture, organizers of the event.

“…The Kaduna International Trade Fair is the largest commercial event in Nigeria and Africa…

“The Fairs covers all aspects of business and economic activities in Nigeria. It offers unique meeting points for Nigerian and foreign Policy Makers, Industrialists, Manufacturers, Buyers, and Users of a wide range of goods and services as well as opportunities for investments and promotions.  The Fair is open to domestic and foreign exhibitors.”


No one may be able to  tell the story of the Kaduna International Trade fair better than a stakeholder who was involved in organizing the event at the early days.

Alhaji Bawa Garba was pioneer President of the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce.  In an interview with, the business tycoon narrated how the Fair started.


Image of Alhaji Bawa Garba

Alhaji Bawa Garba

“The 18th of February, 1979, is a day I cannot forget in my life. That was the day that over 250 companies participated in the first International Trade Fair; that was the result of more than six months of contacts, travelling to Germany, Brazil, Hong Kong, and other Asian countries. We convinced them to come and participate in the fair.”

He explained further:

“We had the support of the then Military Administrator, the late Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Alfa. Durbar and Hamdala Hotels, as well as other hotels in Kaduna, were fully booked. When I was elected the first chair of the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industries and Agriculture I had no money. I volunteered to finance our trip, and I gave N10,000.00 at that time.”

Alhaji Garba stated how the team was able to secure participation from companies abroad.

“We travelled to the Netherlands, UK, Japan, Brazil, and Stuttgart in the then West Germany…  We had coordinators in the US who were paid on commission basis.

It was as a result of these co-ordinations and trips to various parts of the world that gave birth to the first international trade fair in Kaduna, on 18th February, with over 250 companies. Out of that number, West Germany had more than 84 companies.”

…at the end of that Fair, we had a surplus of N35,000.00

Our office used to be a small one-room apartment along Jos road.  We moved to a bungalow across the bridge, before the railway roundabout. It was from then that the whole thing changed for the better…”

Alhaji Bawa Garba concluded.

Objectives of the Kaduna International Trade Fair

It is worth highlighting the primary goals of this fair as indicated by the organizers

  1. To promote and encourage the development of industrial inputs
  2. To promote all aspects of economic sectors through National and International cooperation
  3. To attract international investment in line with Federal Government Policies
  4. To promote, encourage and expose Nigeria’s oil (Particularly petrochemicals and gas) and non-oil sector
  5. To create conducive atmosphere between Nigeria and other nations for joint venture projects in all economic sectors.
  6. To provide access to research findings, new technologies, and ideas for actualization by industrialists and policymakers through face-to-face interaction.

How Kaduna International Trade Fair is helping local businesses (Recare Cosmetics)

From those humble beginnings in 1979, the fair has remained an annual event attracting participation from companies across the world.

But how do you assess the impact of a Fair on the economy of a nation?

A  right approach may be to talk to those who participate to ascertain what difference it has made to their business.

The story of Recare Cosmetics is worth a mention.

Recare Cosmetics, makers of hair and scalp solutions products are manufacturing enterprise headquartered in Lagos.  It began participating at the Kaduna International Trade fair in 2011.

The company says it has witnessed significant gains, especially in increasing its brand awareness across the Northern parts of the country.

There are others that have also benefited from participating in the Kaduna International Trade Fair.

In another post, will provide detail post based on available statistical data, on the impact of the Fair on the economy as a whole.  But suffice to say that the Fair continues to accomplish its objective.

Challenges of growth and sustainability

Thirty-eight years down the line, many say things have changed.  The fair at some point suffered low patronage and participation.

It was no longer the high-powered, business, social and economic get-together it used to be.

But this is understandable.  No one is immune from the most significant socio-economic and political challenges of their immediate environment.  The economic and security problems of the past did affect participation in the Fair.  But that has eased off. And the future is indeed bright.

Today the question is, how can you as a business enterprise benefit by participating in the next edition come February 2018?

The benefits of participating in an International Trade Fair

Regardless of what sector of the economy you operate in, the Kaduna International Trade Fair offers you some unique advantages.  It can help grow your business and increase profitability.

It is a robust marketing platform that attracts a large number of local and international businesses.  Everyone assembles in one place for a short period.

It allows visitors, traders and entrepreneurs assess a vast number of products in one place, at the same time.  Offering participants a comprehensive overview of the market and industry.

Other benefits of participating in the fair include:

  1. Help you find new markets, opportunities, and business ideas
  2. Identify latest trends and innovations (thereby keeping you up to date
  3. Network with other retailers, vendors, business owners and secure new partnerships
  4. Negotiate contracts and place orders for products/services
  5. Maintain contact and relationship with current business partners
  6. Introduce your products/services to new customers
  7. Find solutions to pressing, technical, management or other business challenges
  8. Identify new marketing and partnership opportunities
  9. Test new products or services and get feedback from your target market
  10. Learn and stay abreast of development in your industry. Many fairs also include seminars that offer insights into business growth and development.
  11. Investigate and understand what your competitors are doing, while evaluating your strength and weaknesses in comparison to others.
  12. Evaluate and discuss industry related issues with other stakeholders (e.g., Prices, government policies, laws, regulations, and trends).
  13. Build new social relationships, enjoy the events, and have fun.

How to take part in the  Kaduna International Trade Fair

Participating in a Fair is like travelling to a new place.  The more information you have, the better prepared you will be.

In another post, will look at how to participate in the 2018 edition of the Fair.

We will cover the registration processes, building your stand, attracting visitors and promoting your business.

Even if you are a regular at trade fairs, you will find useful information to help you optimise your participation.

Share your experience with us

Are you a Fair organizer or participant?  Will you like us to cover or write about your fair/exhibition or Expo?  Send us a mail or give us a call right away.  We will love to work with you.

As a professional, industry stakeholder or a  member of the public, you may have visited trade fairs in the past.  Is there a story or topic you will like us to spotlight?

Is there an exhibition in your industry or state you want to cover?

Do you want to share your experience of a trip to a trade fair/exhibition?

Have you participated in a fair and you will like to share your memories and experiences with others?  Please share your views in the comment section below.

And if you have, any queries call or drop us a line right away, we will be delighted to answer your questions and provide relevant information that will help you.

You can follow us on social media to get up-to-date info on all things Trade Fair, Exhibitions, and Expos.

Now it is your turn.  Drop your comments below.

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