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Meetings Africa 2019 launches

Africa should ensure it works towards a slice of the US$800 billion meetings, incentives travel, conventions, exhibitions (MICE) industry, which sees over 31 000 trade shows taking place globally.
The launch of Meetings Africa 2019 took place recently at the JSE in Sandton. The event sees a host of foreign buyers meet with local and African businesses to grow business for the continent and is part of the meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions or MICE industry.

It is important the continent increases its share of this, chief convention bureau officer at the South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB), a business unit of South African Tourism, Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, told guests, stakeholders and media at the launch.

“Africa is putting up its hand and when the continent does well, we all do well.” She was referring specifically to Rwanda which, alongside South Africa, has made a name for itself in the business meetings space.

She added that the 4th industrial revolution needs to be harnessed to leapfrog the continent’s MICE industry if the continent is to fully realise the advantages of this sector. “The fourth industrial revolution is an enabler to tourism. It allows a person in London to view, on their mobile device, what South Africa looks like. It means the perception that when you land in Africa there are lions on the runway can be overcome!”

Africa has the ability and the technology to achieve this, but she says we have to do it together. “A shared economy benefits all, and this is what Meetings Africa is all about. By showcasing our abilities but collaborating this means growth for all and not just a few. It is about inclusively and sustainability.”

She reported that at a direct meeting on the floor of Meetings Africa previously, led to a 2020 event being secured in this country.

“Trade events bring people to our continent. Companies pay for their employees to come to an event such as Meetings Africa, but they also spend time outside the event and explore the country. Many enjoy it so much, that they return in the future with their families.”

Over 3,000 delegates are planning to attend the event this year that takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre, 25-27 February. Last year the event hosted 228 International and Africa Association buyers, with 1,726 visitors and companies, and over 12,000 meetings took place.
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