The Western Cape, City of Cape Town, Wesgro and its supporting partners have announced the launch of the inaugural Africa Halal Week 2018, which will foster business links, conversations and highlight opportunities across tourism, trade and investment, Islamic banking, fashion, film and media promotion, fashion and cuisine in South Africa and Africa between 15 and 17 October 2018.
Key events taking place include:
1. Halal products and services
trade exhibition and business-to-business matchmaking;
2. Over 100 Western Cape Halal businesses showcasing their halal certified agri-processed products
3. Export market access seminars
unlocking the secrets to accessing foreign markets;
4. Modest fashion forum market
unpacking the modest fashion industry and providing insights into accessing the global fashion and design markets;
5. One-day investment conference focusing on Islamic banking, Sharia finance and project funding
6. The role of Islamic finance in growing the Western Cape Halal industry
7. Tourism conference focusing on understanding the trends and opportunities
that exist within the global halal tourism industry as well as insights on successfully hosting the Muslim traveller;
8. The Western Cape as a Muslim-friendly film and media destination
To date, 40 international buyers, CEOs and key opinion leaders operating in the global halal industry will be participating in the Africa Halal Week.
Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, addressed the media about the conceptualisation of Project Khulisa - which set out to create new jobs in the tourism and agro-processing sectors. Since 2015, a key initiative under the project has been to grow the Western Cape’s share of the Halal market from less than 1% to 2%.
"We’ve grown the Halal Market by over R900 million since 2015. Under Project Khulisa, the Western Cape alone is responsible for exporting over R10 billion in Halal products. We look forward to nurturing this already lucrative market to see it expand even further within the province, creating much-needed jobs and boosting the Cape’s economy."
Hub for the Halal market in Africa
Expanding on the importance of creating a week dedicated to growing the Halal industry in the province Rashid Toefy, deputy director general of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) , commented: "The role of Africa Halal Week is to put Cape Town and the Western Cape on the map as a preferred Halal trading partner. The province is perfectly positioned, with frequent and direct flights into the rest of Africa, to become a hub for Halal on the continent, and a launch pad for international partners to access the African markets."
Growing double the rate of the non-Muslim world, it is predicted that the global Muslim population will equate to 31% of the world's total population by 2060.
Honing in on how the Halal market is so much more than food products containing a Halal verification stamp, Professor Ebrahim Arnold - chairperson of the interim Halal Coordinating Committee added: "Africa Halal Week is an opportunity for every one of all persuasions to visit the Western Cape, and be encapsulated by the more than 300 years of history of the impact of Halal living. With the ever-growing population of Muslims globally, the opportunities for the industry abound. Cape Town boasts the first Halal certification process in the industry and is supported by Halal certifiers who are seriously striving towards maintaining global standards for Halal processes."
Growing Muslim travel to SA
Wesgro’s International Trade Unit and DEDAT have been working closely with stakeholders such as the Halal Coordinating Committee, Halal certification bodies, export councils and the private sector to make the event a reality.
Highlighting the importance of Halal in other sectors, Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris referenced the Mastercard Halal Trip Muslim Millennial Travel Report 2017
research, that projects that the total expenditure from Muslim millennial travellers alone will surpass $100bn by 2025, while the overall Muslim travel segment is estimated to reach $300bn by 2026.
"Our province is rich in history, across a multitude of religions, ethnic groups and cultures. Halal is one of the threads that reveals the tolerance of our city as well as our capabilities in delivering on the requirements of this sector. We are perfectly positioned at the Southern tip of Africa to tap into this growing consumer base and increase our capacity in the Halal supply chain, with the goal of growing the Cape’s Halal Market share," concluded Harris.
The long-term aim of this project is to position the Western Cape and South Africa as an important trading hub for Africa. To this end, it is hoped that the Africa Halal Week will grow and become a key trade platform on the international calendar.