/ 22 February 2019

Africa’s economic powerhouse

Meetings Africa hosts over 2 000 delegates
Meetings Africa hosts over 2 000 delegates, 677 world-class exhibitors and hundreds of buyers from around the world each year

South Africa is one of the most sophisticated and emerging markets in the world. The country is known as the gateway into Africa because of its well-developed first-world financial markets and fast-paced emerging economy. It has also grown into an entrepreneurial and dynamic investment environment with many global competitive advantages and opportunities.

While many are familiar with its breathtaking scenic beauty, unique wildlife and diverse culture and people, this African country has also become a premier business destination over the years.

There are over 1 700 meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (Mice) event venues in the country, with the largest of those venues accommodating over 20 000 visitors.

Business tourism contributed R115-billion to South Africa’s economy last year, creating over 250 000 jobs, both directly and indirectly.

Meetings Africa alone hosts over 2 000 delegates, 677 world-class exhibitors and hundreds of buyers from around the world each year. The conference facilities in South Africa are on par with any other country in the world, with many top-class venues. The Sandton Convention Centre, the host of Africa’s leading trade show, is located in the richest square mile in Africa.

The country has over 650 star-graded hotels across its nine provinces, including over 100 five-star hotels. And with over 20 National Game Parks to choose from, your business travels are guaranteed to be nothing short of adventurous.

South Africa’s largest game reserve, The Kruger National Park, stretches over 19 485 square kilometres of land, making it larger than the Republic of Fiji. The best time to visit South Africa is during the country’s summer months, between November and February.

The population is made up of 57-million people, with diverse origins, cultures, languages and beliefs and is home to no less than 41 internationally-recognised Blue Flag beaches along its 3 200km coastline.

About 300-million people are approaching middle-class status in Africa, making the continent the next great growth story after China and India. This growth creates substantial new global business opportunities.

Being neighbours with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho, South Africa allows easy access to other markets in the sub-Saharan region and is considered an economic powerhouse in Africa.

The tip of Africa also has the marketing skills and distribution channels to bring commercial ventures into the rest of the continent.

And whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation during your business events, we have everything from the highest commercial bungee jumping bridge in the world at Bloukrans to the biggest theme resort hotel in the world at Sun City.

Here’s a list of things to do in South Africa when you attend Meetings Africa:

  • Bungee Jump off the Soweto Towers;
  • Take a walk down the most famous street in Soweto, Vilakazi Street, and visit Nelson Mandela’s house;
  • Dine at one of Sandton’s five-star restaurants, unwind at the Michelangelo Spa & Gym, go for a shopping spree at Sandton City or experience the nightlife at the popular Nelson Mandela square with its impressive statue of Madiba, all within walking distance from the Sandton Convention Centre;
  • Catch a show at Theatre on the Square;
  • Visit Montecasino’s Bird Park;
  • Get some fresh air at Sandton Central Park;
  • Take a ride on Jozi’s high-speed train service, the Gautrain, and get off at its Pretoria Station to tour the Herbert Baker Station Building, an important landmark in the City of Tshwane;
  • Visit one of many exclusive wildlife tours in and around Johannesburg; or
  • Take a 2.5 hour drive to Sun City and experience another world.
  • If you’re already invested in Africa or wish to start, South Africa is the gateway to doing business on the continent. Learn more about this investor-friendly environment.

    Sustainability Village

    The gift that keeps on giving

    Since 2017, Meetings Africa has not only committed to event greening but to local economic empowerment as well. One of the ways this is achieved is through the Meetings Africa Sustainability Village.

    The village turns the tables on wasteful bulk corporate gifting by offering a much more sustainable, valuable and memorable experience.

    The idea of the Sustainability Village is simple, beautiful and most importantly, green. The idea is to do away with traditional gifting for the hosted buyers and speakers, replacing it with a gift voucher system which can be spent on-site at one of the six local vendors specifically selected for the event. By doing this, buyers and speakers are able to choose from a curated selection of handcrafted, African-inspired gifts that they will cherish for years to come.

    Why do this?

    Well, it avoids a huge problem that has been identified over the years. Gifts are too often unwanted and thrown away. The idea of a gift is a thoughtful one, but when a single item is distributed in bulk, it becomes impossible to satisfy the tastes and needs of every individual. The gesture of the gift and its expense are lost when it is not to the receiver’s taste.

    All our gift vendors’ goods are made locally (within a 50km radius of Gauteng).

    The vendors are required to be South African and black-owned business certified, thus contributing to the local economy.

    By supporting the Sustainability Village at Meetings Africa 2019, you will be supporting South Africans, which ties in perfectly with the theme of this year’s event: Shared Economies.

    This is an important concept, as many countries in Africa (what with high rates of unemployment) require more participation in the economy so that inclusive growth can blossom. Without diverse minds working together towards a common goal this kind of growth would never be possible.

    Take advantage of the Sustainability Village. Let the action of shared economies thrive as you connect and solidify partnerships that could last a lifetime, and let the gifts that come out of this experience do the same.