According to reports by Business Day, the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau (CTWCCB), a division of WESGRO Group, has stated that it will continue to facilitate trade, knowledge exchange, technology transfer, shared economic growth, jobs, and the growth of sectors such as the business tourism sector between Nigeria and South Africa.
This was disclosed by Londi Khumalo, Business Development Manager, CTWCCB, at a recent workshop in Lagos hosted by the South Africa National Convention Bureau (SANCB) in collaboration with the CTWCCB, represented by the South African Tourism Board in Nigeria, a division of SA Tourism Organisation.
Khumalo said that the group’s priority is to ensure that the conferences they host facilitate trade between the two countries. She added that the primary focus of this collaboration is to promote shared economic growth, employment opportunities, and the development of the tourism sector, particularly in the areas of meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions.
The CTWCCB is facilitating the growth of networks and economic priority sectors in both countries. Some of the things they have done to show that Nigeria is a priority market include establishing the South African Tourism Office for West Africa in Lagos, and focusing on continuing to foster collaborations.
Khumalo expressed her hope that the CTWCCB will continue collaborating with the new government in Nigeria to ensure that South Africans tap into investments and business opportunities in Nigeria, and that Nigerians do business with South Africans. She said that the CTWCCB would like to proceed in a way that is beneficial to both countries, and that they rely heavily on their embassies to facilitate that process for businesses.
Other areas of collaboration with the new government include facilitating ease of travel and ease of doing business between the two countries. Khumalo also noted the important role played by the Nigerian and South African Chamber of Commerce in providing platforms for businesses from both countries to connect.
Iyke Ejimofor, Executive Secretary of the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce, said that South Africa is more developed than Nigeria in areas such as technology, but that Nigeria has a larger population which encourages trade. He also noted that Nigeria and South Africa have a historic opportunity to collaborate and drive success in Africa.
Ejimofor added that the Chamber creates a common forum where South African and Nigerian businesses can meet and lock into opportunities for business exchange, technology transfer, and partnerships.
Khumalo said that Nigeria is one of the largest economies on the continent and has a great role and position that it can leverage to become a hub of MICE itself. She added that Nigeria has a great culture and should also highlight some of the cultural opportunities that people can experience while in the destination.
WESGRO Nigeria Business and Trade Events Facilitator Margaret ChiChi Nkire revealed that Nigeria is a large market for growth in the Africa’s MICE industry. She added that the workshop has set a precedent for MICE business operators in Nigeria to harness the invaluable opportunities unveiled in terms of the benefits participants stand to gain that will help foster business tourism and trade relations between both countries.