ITS time we bring back our Africans to our Continent, that was the message from the yesterday’s launch of annual premier business gathering Meetings Africa.
The notion is that most Africans are based in Europe and US discussing the Continent’s business without African’s input. Therefore, the MA mandates will be used to invite back our own back to the African table.
Meetings Africa is regarded as Africa’s premier business events trade show that begins from February 27 to March 1 2017 at Sandton Convention Center, SA.
In his capacity as the head of South African Tourism, the likeable Sisa Ntshona, said it’s time we take ownership of our own.
“Let’s bring back those intelligent minds back to Africa and re-develop our own strategies, business models and implementations instead of always seeking advises elsewhere.
We boast infrastructure and lively National Conventions & Events Bureau, whose task is to invite Continental & internationals to host their events in the country, said Ntshona, former bank executive.
“The theme is a critical component of the work that our industry does which of course, is way beyond tourism. While Meetings Africa has previously shown its commitment to sustainability by introducing the use of low cost energy, eco-friendly material, recycled paper and being carbon footprint conscious, the goal this year is to expand the overall conversation and see sustainability as a business value and a means of transforming lives,” he pointed out.
“The value of such a trade show extends beyond the business transactions.
Through trade shows such as Meetings Africa, where dialogues and collaborations are key – innovation can only flourish.
This is beneficial because innovation is crucial for the growth of our industry,” he said.
Over 160 corporate buyers and 3000 delegates- particularly from US and China- are expected to attend this year’s event, whose theme is ‘Advancing Africa Together’.
Last year, there was an increase of 11% in both international and regional hosted buyers, with top international buyers coming from India, the United Kingdom and Russia as compared to 2015.
There were 274 exhibitors at Meetings Africa 2016 representing 16 countries (including South Africa).
On a rather contentious note, Ntshona reiterated strongly that, it’s a fact that tourism in SA, benefit the few elite, that notion should change, and we must be the agents of that.
The South Africa National Convention Bureau secured more than 170 bids for the next five years, with a total economic impact estimated at R3 billion.
Gauteng Tourism, the marketing agency on behalf of the Provincial Government, will unveil business events marketing strategy #GuatengMeansBusiness, in the form of launching the Meetings Planner Guide, business events, microsite and diverse business events across 5 regions in the province, says Barba Gaoganediwe, spokesperson for GTA.
Township meetings venues will be considered as part of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises support, he said.
Ntshona also stressed that during the MA, business will be given to emerging establishment.
Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom will officially open event on February 28.