COMESA announces slight change in Business Forum dates for Kampala Summit in November

COMESA AMENDS BUSINESS FORUM DATES FOR KAMPALASUMMIT

Information just received indicates that the planned business forum alongside the COMESA Summit in November in Kampala, has been shifted to 20th and 21st.

The following statement was received from the COMESA Secretariat for distribution:

8th COMESA Business Forum and International Exhibition;

20- 21November, 2012(Forum); 19- 24November, 2012(Exhibition)

Munyonyo Speke Resort and Hotel

Kampala, Uganda.

Enhancing Intra-COMESA Trade through Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development.

Seizing opportunities for Innovation and Prosperity in Business".

The 8th COMESA Business Forum is an Annual Public Private Dialogue and Business Partnerships Forum, that brings together over 500 of Africa’s top business leaders, international businesses and regional policy makers on one platform to engage on common agendas that support business interests in the COMESA region. The Forum is held alongside the 16th COMESA Summit and provides a key platform for private sector to meet and interact with key policy makers from COMESA countries, during the Forum and Summit.

This year, the Regional Forum is co-hosted by the Private Sector Federation of Uganda-PSFU and COMESA Business Council-CBC in Kampala, Uganda. .

Knowledge- Innovation- Competitiveness- Success .

Africa’s SMEs sector has become pivotal in the continent’s drive for sustainable and long-term development and growth. SMEs are known to comprise over 90 percent of African business operations and contribute to over 50 percent of employment in the region. It cannot be over emphasized that the promotion of SMEs has been a powerful engine of wealth creation in many African economies for individuals seeking business opportunities and a chance to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations.

In the COMESA region, SMEs dominate the business world- cutting across all priority sectors in Agriculture, ICT, Transport, Energy, Tourism, among others. The role of women in business comes out more prominently now- as the region seeks to address all capacity constraints across the value chain- in order to increase intra- trade and market competitiveness in Africa and Internationally. How has the private sector been effectively involved in the vision of boosting intra-Africa trade?

The 8th COMESA Business Forum and International Exhibition, 2012 will look at the various advancements made by Small and Medium Enterprises on boosting trade and investment within sectoral clusters, and industries in the region. .This focus is based on the overall African agenda of promoting businesses to become more competitive in the regional and international markets, and to meet the needs of today’s consumer .

In the ever competitive industry that Africa is becoming, product and industrial innovation is a priority for an SME to have a competitive advantage in a local, regional and international market. The importance of Research and development for innovation has been discussed over the years- and today \ innovative solutions to Agriculture, manufacturing, services sectors, ICT and infrastructure are coming into play. While these gradual development have significant effects on the performance of today’s business and enterpreneur, – the forum seeks to take a different approach to securing a more vibrant SME sector. How do we reinvent the growth of SMEs in COMESA?

Who will attend;

· SMEs

· Businesses from COMESA Region;

· South African Businesses;

· Corporates;

· International Investors;

· Traders

· Media houses from the region;

· COMESA key Policy Makers

· Government Officials;

· Investment Promotion Agencies-COMESA

· Export Promotion Bodies- COMESA;

Invited Guests;

· ECOWAS Business Community- West Africa;

· Indian Business Community;

· China Business Community;

· US Business Community;

Why Attend:

· Meet business leaders in the regionally, across Africa and from the global market;

· Establish joint venture partnerships;

· Contribute to influencing policy formulations affecting business in the region;

· Regional and International Business networking;

· Share success stories;

· Learn from International experiences;

· Buyer- seller meetings organized;

· Business-to-Business Meetings;

· Promote your products and services;

· Make a DEAL!

Topics of Discussion…….

GOING GREEN- A NEW WAY TO DO BUSINESS IN AFRICA;

· Today’s necessity for sustainable businesses. What are the various approaches to renewable energy that support the SME sector?

· A green business has become less of a luxury and more of an obligatory effort for a company’s sustainability. The Forum will address the various opportunities of going green and the alternatives available to your businesses.

THE TOP SHAPERS / VISIONARIES OF AFRICA’S BUSINESS LANDSCAPE;

· Setting a benchmark for the latest business trends in Africa- how should business be done?

· The Role of Women in Business- mainstreaming gender in the business world.

AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY;

· Agricultural Innovation for Africa; Using science and technology to build entrepreneurship and increase agricultural output!

BOOSTING INTRA-TRADE IN COMESA;

· Taking products to the market- Made in Africa, consumed by regional and global markets;

· Business Mobility for enhanced Trade;

· Smart Investments, Smart Partnerships;

· Governance, advocacy, accountability and transparency– Addressing Private sector needs for increased trade and investment.

FINANCIAL MARKETS AND SMES;

· Capital markets are an important source of long term finance, especially since SMEs have been primarily dependent on banks for financing.

· Regional Approach to SME financing; African Guarantee Fund and other sources;

INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT;

· The Power of ICT;

· PPPs for Energy and Power Infrastructure initiatives- how to make it work?

INNOVATION FOR JOB CREATION;

· Inventive Africa; Mobile Banking shape shifts from rural to cross border and international transactions;

· Stimulating technology led innovation.

· Providing Enterprise technology Solutions to eradicate Poverty-

TOURISM AND BUSINESS;

· E- tourism; Tourism Online- bridging gaps across the region;

· The World Tourism Organization (WTO) General Assembly in Africa- what is on the agenda?

YOUTH AND ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT;

· Providing a platform for young entrepreneurs to present their businesses impressively at a crucial juncture, hence opening a window of opportunity to sell their ideas.

· Success Stories of Eastern and Southern Africa

WOMEN AND BUSINESS;

· Noting that the larger percentage of SME businesses are led by women, it is important to mainstream gender in a more corporate profile of competitive corporate culture. Some may say this has already been done. What are the constraints faced by women in the business world?

OPEN DEBATE- PUBLIC PRIVATE DIALOGUE- LIVE MEDIA COVERAGE ;

· INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS- REGIONAL BENEFITS; WHAT THE WORLD SEES IN AFRICA- WHAT WE SEE IN OURSELVES; COMMERCE AND TRADE; OUR APPROACH TO DOING BUSINESS IN THE REGION.

Register Now!

Regional Delegate fees: EAC, SADC, COMESA 250 USD
OTHER Regional Economic Communities- Africa 300 USD
International Delegate fees; 400 USD

COMESA INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION, 2012;

LET’S NOT JUST TALK BUSINESS…….. LET’S TRADE!

The 8th COMESA International Exhibition which will open the floor for an 11 hour Bazaar, allowing the vibrant SME and Corporate sector to showcase their products and services. Countries from all over Africa and International Community will be invited to participate in this event and promote their products along International Businesses interested in setting up shop in Africa.

This year’s theme is targeting the Innovation, diversification and of course- the most competitive prices on the market. Please find attached the Floor plan and Registration form.

Expected businesses are;

1. SMES

2. Corporate Companies,

3. COMESA’s top investors(Regional and International )

4. Importers, Exporters,

5. Trade Promotion Agencies,

6. COMESA Regional Investment Authority;

7. Financial Institutions;

8. Telecommunication companies,

9. Regional Financial Institutions;

10. Trade Fair Specialists;

11. Research Institutions;

Corporate Rate; Primary Booth: 2m*5m- US$ 3500

Standard booth: 3m*3m- US$2500

Regional Association Rate Standard Booth: 3m*3m-US$ 1500
SME/National Association and Investment Promotion Agency rate Standard booth: 3m*3m- US$ 800

If you have any questions, Please don’t hesitate to ask. We welcome you all to the upcoming event- Come and explore the various opportunities of doing Business in the COMESA Region!

Warmest Regards,

Sandra Uwera

COMESA Business Council Coordinator
COMESA Secretariat
Ben Bella Road, P.O. Box 30051, Lusaka, Zambia

Phone: +260 211 229725/32, Ext: 7306
Fax: +260 211 225107

Web: www.comesabusinesscouncil.org

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