With Africa’s Premier business event, Meetings Africa set to return this month in South Africa’s capital Johannesburg, convention bureaus and leading MICE businesses are targeting this avenue to chart a path to recovery.
The event which was last held in 2020 is the main business event which begins the MICE tourism season in Africa. Meetings Africa in the last decade and a half have become an opportunity hub for African businesses in the events industry to connect and reinforce strategic partnerships.
The Business events industry will be cardinal in building business confidence, attracting trade and investments, boosting the leisure and tourism sectors, and above all acting as market places for buyers and sellers.
The Sandton Convention Centre will once again come alive when it plays host to Africa’s MICE practitioners and other international delegates from 28th February to 2nd March 2022.
Over a dozen African convention bureaus have already confirmed their participation. The countries include Rwanda, Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Eswatini, Zambia and Mozambique.
Now in its 16th year, Meetings Africa 2022 will continue its’ theme of “Shared Minds. Shared Economies”. The key objective of this theme is to demonstrate how African tourism entrepreneurs continue to make strides in reaching economies of scale by leveraging shared resources. Utilising this strategic business platform will enable us to restore the bridges between exhibitors and buyers in order to compete on a global scale.
The Chief Convention Bureau Officer at the South African National Convention Bureau Amanda Kotze-Nlapo says Meetings Africa will create the opportune platform for Africans to work together to attract global events to the region.
‘’We want to bring Africa together by highlighting the importance of working together to advance the continent and leveraging on the global opportunities for a wider reach,”
Director of MICE at the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mrs. Betty Kobi whose outfit will be making an appearance at Meetings Africa for the first time is looking forward to establishing strategic partnerships with International Professional Congress Organisers, Association, and Event Organisers.
‘’We are in great anticipation for Meetings Africa being the first time Ghana is attending this wonderful event. For us it’s about the opportunities it presents for us to close deals and show the rest of the continent that Ghana is an emerging force on the MICE tourism scene in Africa. Ghana must be your next Conference destination.’’ She said.
The Acting CEO of Zambia Tourism Agency Chavunga Lungu says the MICE sector offers the country an opportunity to diversify Zambia’s tourism products.’ ’As the leisure market continues to be competitive, Zambia has repositioned its tourism offerings to include business travel or MICE in addition to other tourism products such as heritage, safaris, culture and adventure. Going forward, Zambia remains optimistic with the steady growth of MICE and the new Government has already demonstrated this commitment by reviewing the visa regime to allow for a more easy and flexible destination for doing business. ZTA is looking forward to strategic collaborations and partnerships with various stakeholders within the region and to continue leveraging the opportunities that arise from Meetings Africa’s huge networking platform. ‘’
Malawi’s participation at this year’s event is to help them get insights and new trends which will shape the future of the MICE sector. Sarah Njanji of Malawi Tourism says ‘’From a promotion point of view, participation at Meetings Africa provides us the opportunity to showcase venues and also the diversity of our products for incentives. Particularly for this year, we are using our participation at this event to get insights into new market trends that will assist us as we review our marketing strategy to suit the changes in the meetings and conferencing landscape’’
‘’From a policy perspective, MICE is a key component of the overall government agenda, MW2063. In that regard, the sector in the country is supported through duty waivers and other incentives on the purchase of new furniture and equipment used at various MICE venues as well as waivers on temporary importation of equipment for hosting of international music festivals and other events’’ she added.
The Acting CEO of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Givemore Chidzidzi is excited about Zimbabwe’s participation at Meetings Africa as it coincides with the lifting of restrictions and opening of its land borders to boost tourism.
‘’Zimbabwe has been participating at Meetings Africa since the inception of Meetings Africa. We are excited about this year’s edition of Meetings Africa as it is the first physical MICE exhibition to be held in Africa in the last two years following COVID-19 induced restrictions. It also comes at a time when Zimbabwe has just opened its land borders to the world and is ready to welcome visitors to the destination. Conferencing activity is set to resume with venues being allowed to host events as long as they follow the safety guidelines. ‘’ he observed.
The Meetings industry in Africa before the pandemic saw an uptake & growth of MICE tourism culminating in the establishment of a number of dedicated bureaus across the continent.
Meetings Africa provides the perfect business platform to present your products, services and brands to senior decision-makers, buyers and influencers. Meet local and international professionals from the meetings, events and business travel industry.
Read more here