The East African region is gearing to tap into opportunities emerging from the upcoming German Hannover trade fair (Hannover Messe), slated for the 12th -16th April 2021.
Hannover Messe is the world’s largest and impactful trade fair for promoting industrial technologies, usually held annually in Hannover City, Germany.
This year, the fair will sustain its innovative knack as a hybrid knowledge and networking platform, allowing East Africans to participate virtually.
The East African Business Council (EABC) in partnership with GIZ- Business Scouts for Development Program, funded by the German Ministry for economic cooperation, BMZ today held a webinar to explore challenges and risks inhibiting industrial transformation in the region and shared insights on opportunities that the bloc can benefit from by participating in the fair and its huge conference program https://www.hannovermesse.de/de/conference/.
Additionally, the webinar acted as a kick-off for an upcoming virtual fair training for business organizations fair organizers slated beginning May, 2021; courtesy of Business Scouts for Development.
Speaking during the event, EABC CEO/ Incoming EAC Secretary General called for digitalization in the region and exploration of partnerships to diversify the manufacturing base.
“Industries in East Africa have been able to repurpose and transform amid the pandemic. Strategic partnerships between Europe and East Africa should build the capacity of industries to tap into the opportunities of the EAC Common Market and African Continental Free Trade Area of 1.3 billion consumers” Dr. Mathuki said.
Foreseen opportunities of the Hannover Fair include: exploration of latest developments and know-how within the industrial sector, exploration of international market potentials and strengthened market linkages with international markets, adoption and exploration of digital techniques of conducting networking events and positioning business brands, exchange of business and production ideas among manufactures in the region and beyond, partnership and collaboration for manufactures in similar production lines and strategic cooperation in enhancing the capacity of institutions within the trade fair space.
The webinar also offered an opportunity for Deutsche Messe, a leading global trade-fair operator to enlighten the region on how to innovately organize virtual business to business (B2B) events, to improve business resilience and continuity amid the pandemic.
Dr. Mathuki also noted that the manufacturing sector in the region is promising and appropriate regional policies and strategies have been set up to increase intra-regional manufacturing exports from the current 5 percent to about 25 percent by 2032.
This happens as the African Development Bank projects that the region is set to recover to 3.7 percent in the baseline scenario and 2.8 percent in the worst-case scenario, under the assumption that COVID-19 would be contained in the short-to-medium term (AfDB East Africa Economic Outlook, 2020).
The 5-day 2021 Hannover Messe Digital Edition is themed “Industrial Transformation” and promises to offer exhibitors an opportunity to fully exploit the market potential of their products and strengthen business linkages with international markets.