By 2050, a quarter of the world’s population will live in Africa, currently home to 1.2 billion inhabitants and 50% of the global French-speaking population. The continent is home to a third of the world’s mineral reserves and has an average growth rate of 4.4%. No other continent does it better!
In total, 5% of visitors and 3% of exhibitors at our trade shows are from Africa, with a very strong presence from the Maghreb countries of North West Africa. France has very close links with Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, and it is probably no coincidence that our member trade shows have invested in these countries and built a solid relationship with our local offices there for a number of years.
The network has been present in the Maghreb, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal (featured in this issue) for thirty years.
Our aim and our strategy are to support trade shows in these markets by expanding the network to encompass new countries, such as Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya and Mali, possibly followed by Ethiopia and Rwanda, expanding in countries where we used to have only a minor presence, to cater for a hitherto almost non-existent interest in trade shows.
We are therefore working with our partner networks (ICC International, Business France and private partners) to identify the best ways to establish or expand our presence and activities in these nascent markets.
In addressing the key issues in Africa and the needs expressed in so many industry sectors – transport, construction, environment, agriculture, food, IT – our trade shows can provide a way to stimulate the already rapid growth of this continent.
With their many risks and difficulties, African markets require a special approach. In some countries there is fluctuating political and economic stability.
As the African proverb says, “Patience leads the way to heaven”; you have to persevere but the rewards are enormous.
Managing Director, Promosalons