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​Platform to grow Africa’s business tourism industry

Meetings Africa – the continent’s premier business tourism lekgotla – kicked off at the Sandton Convention Centre yesterday with a series of engagements aimed at providing delegates with vital information and networking opportunities to boost their businesses and enhance their profitability.

Aptly called Business Opportunities Networking Day (BOND), the day allowed delegates to attend empowerment meetings, workshops and seminars and interact with their peers from all over the continent as well as representatives of local sectors.

This year’s gathering marks the 10th anniversary of Meetings Africa, a key annual event that showcases the continent’s business tourism offerings.

“Meetings Africa is engineered to offer the best business platform for this industry so it can grow, prosper and deliver on its maximum potential for the African continent,” said South African Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima.

Nzima said the theme of this year’s Meetings Africa lekgotla, “Advancing Africa Together”, informed the BOND programme.

“BOND has been designed to give delegates every opportunity to widen their knowledge, boost their insights and work together to grow this sector of the African economy. Already, the business events industry has a lot of potential across Africa as our continent grows in stature as a business events host,” Nzima said.

Meetings Africa 2015 is being held at the Sandton Convention Centre until Wednesday February 25.

Today Tuesday February 24 marks the official opening of the event.

Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom was due to open the lekgotla with a keynote address, after which he was expected to take a tradeshow floor walkabout. Today will also see a “media faceoff”, focusing on the African business events industry.

On day three, the Unique Speakers Bureau will host the local corporate buyer event followed by the green stand award.

Meetings Africa has a proven track-record of attracting several high-profile business events decision-makers and has seen an impressive growth in attendance numbers over the years. Meetings Africa 2014’s match-making system resulted in 10 169 meetings among 819 delegates, an average of 10 meetings a participant.

For updates on Meetings Africa 2015, follow the South African National Convention Bureau on Twitter at @NCB_SA or search #MeetingsAfrica15 or log onto