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Ghana climbs up the Absa Africa Financial Markets Index (AFMI) despite Covid-19 stalling progress across much of Africa

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Abena Osei-Poku - MD, Absa Bank Ghana_111
Abena Osei-Poku - MD, Absa Bank Ghana Limited

Ghana has moved into the top five ranking in the Absa Africa Financial Market Index report, placing fourth with an overall score of 62 out of the maximum 100 score – a recognition of the positive strides in the development of the Ghanaian market.This is an improvement on last years’ sixth position with a score of 59.

 

Remarkably, Ghana scored 50 and above in 5 out of the 6 pillars measured. The policies and initiatives that contributed to Ghana’s improved performance include – adoption of and enforceability of standard master agreements, improved access to foreign exchange through forward FX auctions by the Bank of Ghana and market transparency works through daily publication of financial asset prices. Ghana’s weakest link however, is the Capacity of Local Investors where it recorded a score of 21.

 

The Absa Africa Financial Markets Index is produced annually by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) – an independent think tank for central banking, economic policy and public investment through extensive quantitative research and data analysis in association with Absa Group Limited. The index, now in its fifth year, throws light on Financial Markets across Africa and benefits from continued engagement with policymakers, regulators, market participants and industry experts; providing the latest information about developments in the region.

 

The Absa Africa Financial Market Index (AFMI) evaluates and ranks Financial Market development in 23 countries, highlighting the opportunities and challenges within the economies. The aim is to show present positions, as well as how economies can improve market frameworks to bolster investor access and drive sustainable growth. The index assesses countries according to six pillars: Market Depth; Access to Foreign Exchange; Market Transparency, Tax and Regulatory Environment; Capacity of Local Investors; Macroeconomic Opportunity; and Enforceability of Financial Contracts.

 

South Africa, Mauritius and Nigeria maintained their lead on the index despite recording lower overall scores compared to the previous year mainly due to the impact of Covid-19. Ghana and Uganda entered the top five for the first time, both earning points especially for the progress in the enforceability of standard master agreements.

the budget. Ghana recorded 65 points under this pillar.

Commenting on the report, Absa Ghana’s Managing Director, Abena Osei-Poku said “Expanding and deepening Ghana’s financial markets is vital to our economic development, and it’s great to note that Ghana is moving in the right direction with recognizable progress. Ghana’s strong performance across pillars with scores above 50 in 5 out of the 6 pillars, shows that stakeholders, led by the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana have sustained development initiatives through the Covid period”.

Kobla Nyaletey - Director and Head of Global Markets, Absa Ghana and Nigeria

Kobla Nyaletey – Director and Head of Global Markets, Absa Ghana and Nigeria

The Director and Head of Global Markets of Absa Ghana and Nigeria, Kobla Nyaletey noted that “to score full marks of 100 on the pillar of Enforceability of Financial Contracts signifies the quantum and speed of work by stakeholders in the last few years in adopting ISDA, GMRA to underpin financial market transactions and the formal recognition of netting in the new Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Act 2020 (Act 1015). Market participants now need to appropriately reflect this in pricing via a risk adjusted pricing framework. I look forward to similar speedy reforms in other areas, especially in enhancing the capacity of local investors to sustain Ghana’s upward climb on the index in the coming years”.

The Macroeconomic opportunity (Pillar 5) assesses countries’ economic prospects using metrics on growth, debt, export competitiveness, banking sector risk and availability of macro data. Countries collectively performed best in this pillar, scoring an average of 62. Despite constrained growth and deteriorating credit quality in a number of countries in 2020, improvements in financial and fiscal transparency kept scores steady. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) identified Ghana as one of the index countries at risk of debt distress as of end-June 2021. Ghana among other African countries issued Eurobonds in the first half of 2021, funding from the Eurobond helped the country to finance maturing debt obligations, infrastructure projects and support the budget. Ghana recorded 65 points under this pillar.

 

Pillar 6 evaluates countries based on the enforceability of close-out netting rules and use of standard financial markets master agreements. Ghana alongside Nigeria and South Africa earned full 100 points for their commitment to Financial Master agreement and enforcement of netting and collateral positions which is a primary means of credit risk mitigation especially for Over the Counter (OTC) derivatives. Earlier this year, the Bank of Ghana issued notice recognizing netting arrangements for transactions using global standard documentation.

 

 

 

Ghana’s Performance

Ghana’s Market Depth recorded a 50 score.  Ghana was also recognized for further refinement in its Primary Dealer system with the Bond Market Specialist group as well as the framework for issuance of green or sustainable bonds in future. The availability of sustainability-focused products in the domestic markets is a new indicator forming part of Market Depth (Pillar 1) scores. In May, Ghana’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched its Capital Market Master Plan to implement product diversification and widen its investor base over the next 10 years The Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) has also partnered with the London Stock Exchange to support Ghana’s capital market development. This partnership will focus on executing several initiatives which will lead to upgrading Ghana’s classification from a Frontier to an Emerging Market and supporting cross-listings between both exchanges. The GSE, working with other exchanges from ECOWAS is also developing a system to enable brokers to trade across the different markets of the sub-region.

 

To accelerate the digitization of the financial market, the Bank of Ghana (BOG) launched a payments-focused sandbox in February 2021. The BOG also established the Fintech and Innovation Office to drive cash-lite, e-payments and digitalization. The BOG is further exploring the possibility of issuing a digital currency. All these efforts were duly recognized and contributed to the improvement in Ghana’s score on Market Depth.

 

Ghana scored 59 out of 100 on the Pillar of Access to Foreign Exchange, a 2.8-point decline from the prior year, partly due to weaker reserve positions relative to net portfolio flows. Despite a decline in its interbank FX market turnover, Ghana climbed five positions on the ranking in this pillar, driven by more frequent official exchange rate reporting and wider adoption of the FX Global Code – important works towards market transparency and adoption of global best standards. In 2020, the Ghana Cedi remained relatively stable against the US Dollar on account of reduced FX demand, structural changes such as the increased use of forward FX auctions.

 

On Pillar 3 of Market Transparency, Tax and Regulatory Environment, Ghana scored 75 points. Earlier this year, parliament passed a legislation to waive tax on capital gains for listed securities, making permanent the incentive established in 2020, thus making Ghana one of the generous tax regimes for investors. On encouraging sustainable markets, the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) released guidelines for incorporating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors in investment decisions, with up to 5% of a pension scheme’s assets under management invested in green bonds not counting towards its maximum allocation for securities. Ghana is working with the Global Reporting Initiative to introduce sustainability reporting in its market by the end of the year.

 

Pillar 4 evaluates Local Investor Capacity based on the size of the pension fund market and its potential to drive market activity. Across the 23 countries on the index, scores dropped by 6.3 points, with 17 countries falling down the rankings. Aggregate pension fund assets in the index declined by 1.9%. With a low score of 21, the report concluded that in Ghana, many pension funds and asset managers tend to have a short-term view of investments, making them more risk-averse and unlikely to invest in unfamiliar sectors. Pension funds in Ghana are encouraged to invest in sustainable financial products. More funds will move in this direction if trustees and investment managers have the confidence to evaluate new kinds of investment opportunities.

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The Best Designer Clothing Brands

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In this article, we will take a look at the Top Designer Clothing Brands of all time. These names are very good quality luxury brands. Because of the fantastic apparel, shoes and accessories are created using the most ideal. From which one can hope to find material, in the most unusual manner, by expert artisans.

Not at all like the quick style brands, and surprisingly some of the high design brands, the top of the line brands create rare or limited edition pieces. Which are often bought as brands. Driven by the world’s best design architects, these pioneering brands create exquisite styles which show one’s economic well-being and valuable and interesting character.

These popular clothing brands and Popular Clothing Sites are behind the most stylish trend patterns and styles that premium and instant design outfits replicate in large numbers every season.

From intelligent suits and popular dresses to cool shirts and stylish bottoms, these are the best brands of the last hundred years, known for remarkable style, quality, and leading ratings that you want to be aware of.

Louis Vuitton The Clothing Brand of Finance:

Louis Vuitton Malletier is a French clothing fashion brand and luxury goods conglomerate. Founded in 1854 by Georges Louis Vuitton, and it is believed to be the initials of the LV logo. The likes developed as a case creator and offered various advancements, for example, level-top trunk, lightweight materials, signature design, and tumbler lock.

These days, the Louis Vuitton originator brand is known for its whole spirit of progress, power of expression, and solid interest in grandeur. Named the world’s most influential luxury brand for six consecutive years (2006-2012). And with more than 460 stores in 50 countries, this original brand continues with its primary goal of exploring new expressive skylines.

Gucci, The Clothing Brand in Italy:

Gucci founded the ‘Place of Gucci’ in 1921 in France, Italy. The young Guccio worked with several high-quality brands in London – the brand worked on various products, including perfume, makeup and clothing. Like Savoy Lodging, where he fell head over heels for the English privileged class. Revived by the English title, Guccio returned to Italy to become a top-of-the-line planner organization.

Horse details distinguished Gucci’s early pieces. At the same time, special attention was paid to the blue blood of those days, who wore a variety of equestrian equipment and accessories. One of the most agent bits of the moment is Gucci’s famous loafers, which are on display at New York’s Metropolitan Exhibition Hall of Workmanship.

Chanel The Clothing of France:

Chanel is a French luxury-style house founded in 1910 by couturier Gabrielle Chanel, who was named the lead designer in Time 100: The Main Nation of the Hundred Years. Long hailed as one of the most prominent designer brands of its time, Chanel centers around women’s ready-to-wear, luxury goods, and accessories.

Today, Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld uses essential ingredients of the brand’s vocabulary. A double-C theme, chains, tweed, and gem planners give the brand an understated, contemporary twist. Like Gabrielle Chanel, Lagerfeld used hairdos, shades and fingerless gloves to create a striking designer brand image, easy to see around the world.

Prada The Clothing of Italy:

Prada is a designer brand launched by Mario Prada as a small cowhide products store. Prada was founded in Milan in 1913 by Mario Prada as a commercial designer brand of Italian extravagance calfskin. However, Prada had little influence on the style until Miuccia took over his grandfather’s organization in 1978.

As one of the most incredible designer brands of the present day, Prada incorporates the unmistakable components of a heritage of high-quality expertise with current environmental and social protection standards. Help and ethical submission. These days, Prada is directed by a progressive, creative team: Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, striking the perfect balance between idealism and fun.

Dior The Clothing of France:

It is commonly known as Dior; Christian Dior is a French inventor founded in 1946 by French-style fashioner Christian Dior. The French extravagance design house is controlled and led by French financier Bernard Arnault, who heads LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate.

Coordinated by president Pietro Beccari, the high-end Dior is considered one of the most compelling brands in womenswear and eveningwear. Arguably the most-regarded designer brand worldwide, Dior’s extraordinary visions have been worn by movie stars, heads of state, royalty and VIPs.



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Samsung Unpacked 2023: Get Ready for the Best of Samsung Galaxy, Built for Today and Tomorrow

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Dr. TM Roh President Head of MX Business Samsung Electronics

Every year, mobile technology increasingly becomes the very core of our daily lives and the epicenter of innovation.

With these essential devices, we create and consume content that connects, inspires and entertains us. We stay immersed in the world of an epic game, even on the go. We keep up with colleagues and deadlines when we’re away from our desks. And we manage every part of our lives in one convenient place — from health and wellness habits to appointments, purchases, travel and more.

Our days revolve around these experiences, so people want devices they can depend on from brands they can trust. At the same time, global challenges like the climate crisis are making us rethink how we live. We have a responsibility to help create a better world now while working toward a more equitable and sustainable future. We believe mobile technology can be the catalyst to enrich people’s lives and help create that future we envision. And this is the reason why we do what we do in Samsung Electronics.

Setting New Performance Standards

There’s no better example of Samsung delivering on this vision than the Galaxy S series. This year, Galaxy S series has extended our innovation heritage by doubling down on our fundamentals.

That’s why our pro-grade camera system is getting smarter, offering the best photos and videos in any light among our Galaxy smartphones. Along with the hardware and software optimization, our newest chipset, born out of Samsung’s open partnership philosophy, enables the fastest and most powerful Galaxy performance. Our ecosystem connectivity is also getting easier and more seamless than ever.

At the top of the Galaxy S series is our Galaxy S Ultra. It’s the product you can trust to give you the best of the best with redefined performance and quality.

We fully merged the most beloved Galaxy Note experiences into Ultra, pioneering a smartphone with the power, performance and creative capabilities of two leading Galaxy innovations in one.

The Galaxy S Ultra has truly become the pinnacle of Samsung Mobile’s innovation, a marque that stands out against everything else, and soon we’ll show you what Ultra can do in even more device categories.

Innovation That Lasts

Performance is not just about more power. It’s also about innovation that lasts with less environmental impact.

We are committed to combatting climate change, and we are guided by our new environmental strategy that strives to make the technology we depend on more sustainable. That’s why we consider every phase of the product lifecycle with sustainability top of mind.

This means building devices that last longer with enhanced durability and reliability. This means incorporating more recycled materials into more components. This means collaborating with like-minded partners to bring people closer together and deliver positive change for people and the planet while setting new benchmarks for our industry.

Premium Experience Without Compromise

On February 1 at Unpacked, we’ll show how innovation and sustainability working together bring the ultimate premium experience.

At a time when the stakes are higher than ever, we’ve raised the bar by pushing boundaries for the mobile experience — delivering our most powerful mobile experiences you’ll continue to love for years to come.

Join us as one of the first to see the new premium Galaxy innovations. The event will be streamed live on Samsung.comSamsung Newsroom, and Samsung’s YouTube channel.

Date: February 1, 2023

Time: 6 PM

Venue: Samsung.com  https://www.samsung.com/africa_en/unpacked/

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Akwaboah Prepares For Valentine With New Kwabena Kwabena Collaboration

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akwaboah

Highlife and Afro fusion sensation Akwaboah is preparing to dominate the airwaves in the month of February with the release of new music which features fellow Highlife and love crooner, Kwabena Kwabena.

Akwaboah had the most streamed song last year on Valentine’s Day with his hit song Obiaa dominating airwaves and digital platforms and he promises fans to expect another sensational highlife collaboration this time.

According to him the collaboration with Kwabena Kwabena was long overdue and it is only natural that the song focuses on love and comes with an authentic Highlife rhythm to it.

Akwaboah earlier this year intimated that he will be releasing back to back hits this year, culminating in the release of his much anticipated Lighthouse Album later in 2023.

The new song titled ‘My darling’ will be available on all digital platforms from Friday 27th January 2023. A video for the song is set to be released on Sunday 29th January 2023.

The multiple award winning artist, Akwaboah is also getting ready to host his fans and music lovers at his annual Shades on Love concert in Accra on 14th February 2023 and Kumasi on 18th February 2023, He will end the month of February with another show in London UK on 25TH February 2023.

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Ghana Youth Excellence Awards 2023 Officially Opens Nomination

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Outstanding event company,  Apex Africa Concept has released nomination for the inaugural edition of Ghana Youth Excellence Awards 2023.

Dubbed ‘’GYEA23”, various youth across the  length and breadth of Ghana have been earmarked to be recognized across various sectors of our Ghanaian settings.

According to organizers,  nomination for the Ghana Youth Excellence Awards 2023 has been opened from 20thJanuary, 2023 to 20th February, 2023.

Ghanaian youth doing well in  leadership, sports, advocacy, health, security, music, movies, blogging and all sectors of our Ghanaian settings will be awarded at Ghana Youth Excellence Awards 2023.

The awards has been themed, “The Ghanaian youth is relevant in national development and nation building”. Organizers are going to focus on the reality that the Ghanaian youth is relevant in this trying times of national development and nation building.

Ghanaian youth who want to file for nomination should visit  Apexafricaconcept.com to file for nomination or contact 0598225556. Below are the categories,

Outstanding Youth Personality Of The Year

Youth Leader Of The Year

Youth Politician Of The Year

Youth Advocate/Activist Of The Year

Youth Entrepreneur Of The Year

Youth C.E.O Of The Year

Community Development Youth Of The Year

Foundation/NGO Of The Year

Youth Philanthropist Of The Year

Real Estate Developer Of The Year

Youth Teacher Of The Year

Youth Military Officer Of The Year

Youth Police Officer Of The Year

Youth Nurse/Doctor Of The Year

Youth Banker Of The Year

Youth Model Of The Year

MakeUp Artist Of The Year

Fashion Designer Of The Year

Fashion Personality Of The Year

Hairstylist/Barber Of The Year

Ushering Urgency Of The Year

Modelling Urgency Of The Year

Therapist Of The Year

Youth Blogger/Publisher Of The Year

Youth Author/Writer Of The Year

Youth Photographer Of The Year

Youth Media Personality Of The Year

Social Media Influencer Of The Year

Youth Artiste Of The Year

Emerging Artiste Of The Year

Music Producer/Engineer Of The Year

Best Rapper Of The Year

Dancehall/Reggae Artiste Of The Year

Youth Manager Of The Year

Actor/Actress Of The Year

Video Director/Producer Of The Year

Best TV Series Of The Year

Movie Of The Year

Video Vixen Of The Year

Graphic Designer Of The Year

Pencil/Visual Artist Of The Year

Event Of The Year

Event Company Of The Year

Content Creator Of The Year

MC/Hypeman Of The Year

DJ Of The Year

Spoken Word Artiste Of The Year

Youth Footballer Of The Year

Football Club Of The Year

Youth Athlete Of The Year

Sports Manager Of The Year

Sports Journalist Of The Year

Sports Personality Of The Year

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Binance Charity selects 1000 Africans for tech scholarship in collaboration with Utiva

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Binance Charity, the philanthropic arm of Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency and blockchain infrastructure provider, and Utiva, a technology education company in Africa that helps young people learn tech skills, today announced that they have selected the 1,000 Africans who will be taking part in a free 1-year intensive skill training program. The scholarship year is set to kick off on January 29, 2023, with a virtual launch day.

As unemployment rises across the continent, Binance and Utiva remain committed to providing digital education to enable more Africans to explore global career opportunities and secure roles as tech professionals.

This scholarship program has enrolled young Africans between the ages of 18-35 from 19 countries, providing them with a platform to learn technology skills for a 12-month duration. Classes have been designed for beginners in collaboration with Binance Academy and include skills such as web development, front-end development, full-stack development, cloud computing and blockchain modules.

Binance Academy will further support this initiative by providing Web3 crash-course content to students and by offering live and recorded training sessions to Utiva instructors. Upon completion of the program, students will be awarded an NFT certificate as digital & verifiable proof of having successfully completed the program.

“Today, we’re celebrating the 1000 students selected for full scholarships as part of our Binance Charity Scholar Program. This is our most ambitious education outreach to date in the region and the overwhelming positive response further bolsters Africa as a key hub for emerging tech talent. We’re so excited for these young people, as they embark on an exciting new career journey,” said Helen Hai, VP of Binance and Head of Binance Charity.

Angela Naa Yaboley Okantey, a Ghanaian scholar, said: “I am very excited to have been selected for this scholarship program because it will provide me with financial support and opportunities to pursue my professional goals in the tech space as well as interact with other like-minded individuals. Overall, I believe that this scholarship would be an invaluable investment in my future and enable me to be a part of an industry reshaping the world.”

Renee Ovwigho, a Nigerian scholar, said: “I am thrilled about this opportunity because it would push me toward a successful career in Data Analysis. With many industries adopting blockchain technology recently, this would enable me to learn and provide me with the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to society.”

Miracle C. Amakom, a Cameroonian scholar, said: “As an engineering student, I’ve been on the lookout for reputable programs to get great training and professional development and I am super excited to be a part of this. Looking forward to my journey of becoming a full stack developer as this has always been my passion.”

The programme includes students across Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya and more. The collaboration aims to build a path for economic prosperity for the continent through skill training and access to vast job opportunities in the technology and Web3 sectors.

This project is part of the wider Binance Charity Scholar Program, enabling the next generation of digital leaders to develop their skills, knowledge and experience without financial barriers. Applications to study as part of this program have surpassed 80,000 worldwide since June last year.

Binance

Binance is the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider with a financial product suite that includes the largest digital asset exchange by volume. Trusted by millions worldwide, the Binance platform is dedicated to increasing the freedom of money for users and features an unmatched portfolio of crypto products and offerings, including: trading and finance, education, data and research, social good, investment and incubation, decentralization and infrastructure solutions, and more. For more information, visit: https://www.binance.com.

Binance Charity

Binance Charity is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of blockchain-enabled philanthropy towards achieving global sustainable development. Binance Charity aims to transfer philanthropy by developing a 100% transparent donation platform based on blockchain to build a future where technology innovation is used to end all forms of poverty and inequality, advance sustainable development and ensure that no one is left behind. To date, Binance Charity has supported over 2 million end beneficiaries through various projects. For more information, visit: https://www.binance.charity/

Binance Academy

Binance Academy is a leading blockchain and cryptocurrency education platform featuring hundreds of hours of content on blockchain, cryptocurrency, Web3 and more. Launched in 2018, it serves millions of learners across the world in more than 25 languages. All content on Binance Academy is completely free.

With no advertisements, no requirement for payment or registration, everyone can learn at their own pace and even earn free crypto through learning by taking part in the Learn and Earn program. Other educational initiatives of Binance Academy include the University Outreach Program, Student Ambassador Program, partnerships with top online learning platforms, professional associations, industry alliances, and others.

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South Africa Tourism (SAT) successfully participateds in Fitur 2023

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South Africa Tourism (SAT) successfully partakes in Fitur 2023

South Africa’s appearance at the Fitur Madrid (International Tourism Trade Fair) 2023 held at the Ifema trade fair centre of Madrid (Spain), which ended this week, was a triumph for Team South Africa.

Fitur is the global meeting point for tourism professionals and the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound markets in Latin America.

It is known as one of the year’s first appointments, bringing together diverse tourism professionals worldwide to showcase their wares during an important booking cycle in the Europe Tourism value chain.

 

The 2023 fair was attended by over 600 exhibitors and official representatives from 70 countries (including tourism ministers from 21 countries).

“FITUR 2023 was a resounding success and a platform where we once again showcased South Africa’s unique experiences and readiness to welcome visitors from across the globe.” said the South African Tourism (SAT) Regional General Manager (Europe) Ian Utermohlen.

“We conducted 25 high level meetings and discussions at the South African Tourism exhibition stand, with the intention of fostering meaningful relationships in the market. This saw us amongst others engage with Real Madrid and the Committee of Tourism Film Festivals on potential collaborative efforts in the Spanish & South African Markets”.

South Africa’s strong contingency of exhibitors included Joburg Tourism, Amazing Africa, Ates Africa Safaris & Tourism, Catalina Tours SA, Aquila Collection and AM Lodge | Luxury Safari Lodge.

Among the South Africa exhibitors at the #FITUR2023 were three SMMEs, Kwanda Voluntourism, Timeline Travel & Evo Trak Quad Safaris who valued the opportunity to participate on this global tourism platform. “A part of driving transformation in the industry and opening up market access for the emerging operators, it is imperative that we elevate and expose SMMEs to our Europe Tourism value chain like FITUR,” he insisted.

On Thursday 19th January South African Tourism hosted a press conference that garnered great response and enthusiasm from 30  Spanish media and trade stakeholders that  were in attendance. “Our objective was to bring the Spanish media into our confidence and ignite excitement with the processes and thinking behind our in-market demand work, the importance and value of the Europe South Markets, while showcasing our exceptional performance” Utermohlen emphasised.

South African Tourism’s stand in Madrid welcomed up to 495 quality visitors who engaged with exhibitors & delegates while enjoying biltong and some quality South African wines, The Golden Kaan Shiraz and Delheim Chenin Blanc.

One of the observations that came from many of the exhibitors on the stand was that they (exhibitors) are seeing shorter lead times for business – meaning, all the business that is coming their way is for either this year or next year.”

“This indicates how eager people are to host their conferences and bring incentive trips to South Africa shortly. This is a shift from the pre-COVID-19 environment as lead times were much longer,” he re-emphasised.

Utermohlen believes South African Tourism’s relentless Europe marketing efforts are beginning to bear fruit as buyers who visited South Africa stand in Madrid were confident in selling South Africa to their customer base

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