Blockbuster hi-tech expo heads for city
8 000 delegates and 300 exhibitors expected
WELL over R100 million is expected to flow into Cape Town as the Mother City prepares to welcome more than 8 000 delegates and more than 300 exhibitors to the AfricaCom 2013 communications conference, a gathering of the world’s top communication experts and industry leaders.
The conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from Tuesday to Thursday next week, has become an economic staple for the city, with last year’s event bringing in R108m.
But the event had much wider relevance for the African continent than simply a source of income, according to Ian Hemming, chief executive of Informa Telecoms and Media.
“In recent years we have grown the event in terms of the number of days, but also added several complementary side events as the digital communications era expands its influence across the continent.
“As Africa continues to come online, digital – from telecommunications backbone offerings to value added services – we believe Africom will continue to be the epicentre for meaningful conversations.”
AfricaCom 2013 is co-sponsored by a host of communication specialists, including Samsung, Telkom and Ericsson, as well as noncommunication organisations like Visa and MTV.
The event continues to draw senior executives and decisionmakers from the communications industry every year, and this year’s line-up of experts and inventors includes MTN South Africa chief executive Zunaid Bulbulia, SABC Group chief executive Lulama Mokhobo and Miles Keylock, editor-in-chief of Rolling Stone Magazine.
Caroline Broderick, content development manager at Informa Telecoms and Media, said it has become a breeding ground for a lot of potential partnerships and fosters thousands of inspirational conversations. “Africa is seen as a bright spot for development and growth for the global telecoms, media and Information Communications Technology community and the delegates appreciate very much the chance to come to Cape Town and meet up with the panAfrican
‘Events like AfricaCom give us a great idea of how to add to Cape Town’s tourism attractions’
The event also includes the AfricaCom awards, which recognise outstanding achievements in 14 categories across the communications industry. Four categories – connectivity solution, mobile marketing, digital music and mobile money – have been added this year.
Grant Pascoe, the City’s mayco member for tourism, events and marketing, said the City of Cape Town was proud to host AfricaCom.
“It means a lot to host this very successful and very important event, not only for the income it has brought into the city, but the innovations and new technologies on display. The city will be sending a representative to the event and taking a lot of lessons, with a view to implementing them as far as we can,” he said.
Pascoe added that the city would also be looking to extend its brand by marketing Cape Town through business tourism. “We have been looking at various avenues to add to our leisure tourism image, and business events like Africom give us a great idea of how to add to the city’s attractions. The year-after-year success of AfricaCom really does show that we are capable of expanding into the business tourism field,” he said.