#AfricaMonth: Cape Town celebrates Africa Day

Delegates from across Africa are gathering in Cape Town today, 25 May 2018, to celebrate Africa Day at the Africa Day Business Networking Forum.
© Nicolaas Traut via 123RF
Wesgro, in partnership with the Department of the Premier of the Western Cape, the Department of Agriculture and Mazars South Africa, are hosting the business delegations. 

There are 20 businesses from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), five Angolan delegates, three Rwanda delegates and more than 150 delegates from the Western Cape - of which 40 are from African countries across the continent - are attending this year's event.

The African diplomatic corps is strongly represented and the Western Cape’s Provincial Minister of Finance, Dr Ivan Meyer, who is also responsible for International Relations, will speak at the event. Presentations by General Consulates based in Cape Town from Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, Mauritius, Madagascar, Namibia and Zimbabwe will discuss relevant topics such as  the new African Continental Free  Trade Area (CFTA).

The event forms part of the Western Cape’s 2018 Africa Week celebrations and aims to bring together business people from across the continent to engage in Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings, share their experiences in economic development and regional integration while networking with local businesses through break-away sessions.

Commenting on the increased popularity of the event, Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, commented: “Over the years, the business interactions during Africa Day business forum have resulted in several  business deals and partnerships - not just between South Africa and businesses  from across the continent, but also deals among local businesses within the  province.”

Celebrating its 22nd birthday, Africa Day commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African  Unity – now known as the African Union (AU). Each year a theme is selected to mark the celebrations, with this year being “African Union Agenda  2063”.

Drawing on the AU vision of  “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and  representing a dynamic force in the international arena”, the theme intends to  offer a strategic framework to guide the socio-economic transformation of the  continent over the next 50 years – building on and seeking to accelerate the  implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and  sustainable development.

“While African Governments meet formally and periodically, the same cannot be said for businesses and ordinary citizens from different parts of the continent. Africa Day presents an opportunity to reflect and reconnect as a continent, fostering collaboration between our nations economically, culturally, and socially,” commented Harris.

The Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, stated:  “This Africa Day event is an opportunity for business people from across Africa   to meet, network and exchange ideas. The continent has is a key  partner for the Western Cape in terms of trade, growth and investment and  growing into key African markets in the tourism, agri-processing and oil and  gas sectors lies at the heart of our Project Khulisa strategy, which is to develop these  sectors and grow the number of people they employ.”

In a final comment, Kariem Hoosain, a partner at Mazars, said: “Mazars is proud to co-host the Africa
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