Out of Africa

Stuart Wood | CMW

Rick Taylor shines a light on Africa as a next choice for meeting, change and legacy opportunity. frica is 30.2m sqkm in size and home to 16.7% of the world’s population. Sub-Saharan Africa is the youngest region in the world with a median age of 19.5 compared to 38 in the US, 43 in the EU and 47 in Japan. Against the aspirations of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 (a plan for transformation of the continent by 2063), Africa’s tourism competitiveness is increasing as destinations scale up their development agendas specifically into the business events sector. The importance of the business events sector, with its unmatched value chain and deep social impacts, has become even more evident during Covid-19. Africa has been under-performing in world business events arrivals, recording only 3% of international association meetings in 2019, and 6% of international organisation and association meetings according to international associations ICCA and UIA respectively. This is supported by the Events Industry Council that records only 5.3% of global business events participants and 2.2% of global direct spend in Africa. In recent years, liberalising air transport and further relaxation of visa rules, easier currency convertibility, Afro-optimism and business...

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