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Meetings Africa ‘unleashes the continent’s potential’ Print E-mail
01 March 2017
Meetings Africa17

Meetings Africa was where Africa’s potential, capabilities and its full might and diversity were put on display, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said during the opening of Africa’s premier trade show at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday February 21.

“This is where partnerships and business collaborations are cemented. Thank you to all our partners for making this possible,” Minister Hanekom told more than 600 international, regional and local buyers who had descended on the convention centre for the event.

He said it was inspiring to see so many exhibitors and buyers at the conference ready to do business.

Meetings Africa is Pan-Africa’s business tourism annual conference that showcases a range of hospitality products and services on offer on the continent. It has been running for 12 years. The theme for this year’s gathering is “Advancing Africa Together”.

“Every product and service on offer at Meetings Africa represents an opportunity ... opportunities to do more business, opportunities to create linkages to an extended value chain – food and wine, creative and cultural industries – real opportunities for tourism to make a greater impact on our country and our continent,” said Minister Hanekom.

After his address, Minister Hanekom went on a walkabout during which he had the opportunity to engage exhibitors and delegates.

Exhibitors such as Joburg Tourism, Malawi Tourism, City of Polokwane and Harties Boat Company had their hands full as delegates swarmed their exhibition stands clamouring for information about their products and services.

City of Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee for Economic Development Cllr Sharon Peetz said the city was well-placed to unlock the economic potential of the entire continent.

“It will ensure that tourism remains a core catalyst to create jobs and reduce unemployment in Johannesburg and South Africa. Aside from the significant role played by tourism in strategically creating and strengthening international relations, and contributing significant economic benefits, hosting business events also contributes to the knowledge economy of host cities, countries and communities.” said Cllr Peetz.

She said there was more to Johannesburg than business.

“I would like to encourage delegates to explore, experience and enjoy Joburg while they are our guests. Please visit our stand to learn about our attractions for you to experience while you are here or, more importantly, when you return to Joburg with your next convention or holiday,” said Cllr Peetz.

Joburg Tourism, the City’s tourism marketing and promotion entity has been part of Meetings Africa since 2009.

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