Africa Expo at Swakop attracts key sponsors

Key sponsors confident in event
Key sponsors of the first Africa Economic Leadership Expo and Summit, that will be held in Swakopmund, in May expressed their confidence in the event.
Adam Hartman
The official ‘activation’ launch of the first Africa Economic Leadership Expo and Summit, that will be held in Swakopmund was accompanied with the announcement of key sponsors.

The expo is scheduled from 23 to 25 May under the theme "Discover Namibia – Doing business in Africa” and hundreds of exhibitors from across the continent are expected to showcase their products and services there, as well as deliberate on business development and promotion.

One of the sponsors is the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre that will host the event. The value of its contribution is an estimated N$130 000.

Heinrich Hafeni, president of the Africa Economic Leadership Council, told Erongo 24/7 that the expo and summit will be the first major business indaba post-Covid in Namibia, and that having it at the hotel was a compliment to the occasion considering that it had been closed for business during the pandemic’s darkest during 2020 and 2021.

“We are glad to be the host, and we celebrate this opportunity with you,” said hotel manager Dalien Steyl.

Jerome Mutumba of the Development Bank of Namibia, which is the main sponsor of N$150 000 for the expo, said that the bank endorses the initiative that is being advanced by young Namibian and African business leaders and entrepreneurs. He said the bank is established is to finance economic activities in the country that includes economic infrastructure and SME support.

Mutumba noted that Africa as a market is “very ripe”, and consists of about 1,3 billion citizens and a combined economy of US$3 trillion, “which is quite massive”. “Namibia needs to take advantage what lies ahead of us, and we have significant exposure to exports, and should substitute what we are importing by developing locally and so become self-sufficient,” he said, adding that the expo and summit would be a good platform to develop and promote Namibia’s participation in this continental economic potential.

Tienie Mouton of FNB Namibia, which is soponsoring the expo to a tune of N$90 000, said that FNB Namibia was part of the establishment of the Africa Economic Leadership Council’s Namibian chapter, which took place at Swakopmund last year. According to him, the financial institution wants to continue with this journey. “We support your mission, vision and values – it talks to us as an organization,” he said, adding that economic development is critical to national wellbeing.

Hafeni thanked the sponsors for setting their confidence in the initiative and believed their involvement would encourage others to follow suite.

“To have such prominent sponsors come onboard is a major boost in confidence for us,” he said.

The Africa Economic Leadership Council is a pan-African organization that focuses on the development and promotion of business and entrepreneur leaders on the continent. The initiative was born after the African Continental Free Trade Agreement was signed and came into effect at the start of 2021.

Hafeni explained that the main aim of the event is to expose and promote Namibia as a continental business partner. "The three day expo will exhibit 120 corporates, small and micro businesses, as well as government and state-owned enterprises. Delegates from across Africa and a broad range of sectors (tourism, agriculture, logistics and telecommunication, amongst others) will also be part of a summit and other networking platforms during the three days. On 25 May (which is also Africa Day) a business gala dinner will be held."