The East African Business Council (EABC) in partnership with GIZ, a Business Scouts for Development Program recently held a webinar to explore challenges and risks inhibiting industrial transformation in the region. The stakeholders further shared insights on opportunities that the bloc can benefit from by participating in the fair and its huge conference program.

The webinar also acted as a kick-off for an upcoming virtual Hannover Fair training for business organizations fair organizers slated beginning May, 2021; courtesy of Business Scouts for Development.

Speaking during the event, EABC CEO/ Incoming EAC Secretary General, Dr. Peter Mathuki called for digitalization in the region and exploration of partnerships to diversify the manufacturing base. “Industries in East Africa have been able to repurpose and transform amid the pandemic. Strategic partnerships between Europe and East Africa should build the capacity of industries to tap into the opportunities of the EAC Common Market and African Continental Free Trade Area of 1.3 billion consumers” Dr. Mathuki added.

The Hannover Fair is expected to offer opportunities including

  • Exploration of latest developments and know-how within the industrial sector.
  • Exploration of international market potentials and strengthened market linkages with international markets.
  • Adoption and exploration of digital techniques of conducting networking events and positioning business brands.
  • Exchange of business and production ideas among manufactures in the region and beyond.
  • Partnership and collaboration for manufactures in similar production lines.
  • Strategic cooperation in enhancing the capacity of institutions within the trade fair space.

The webinar also offered an opportunity for Deutsche Messe, a global trade-fair operator to enlighten the region on how to innovatively organize virtual Business to Business (B2B) events, to improve business resilience and continuity amid the pandemic.

Dr. Mathuki also noted that the manufacturing sector in the region is promising and appropriate regional policies and strategies have been set up to increase intra-regional manufacturing exports from the current 5% to about 25% by 2032.

This happens as the African Development Bank projects that the region is set to recover to 3.7% in the baseline scenario and 2.8% in the worst-case scenario. This estimation is under the assumption that COVID-19 would be contained in the short-to-medium term (AfDB East Africa Economic Outlook, 2020).

The 5-day 2021 Hannover Messe Digital Edition is themed Industrial Transformation will offer exhibitors an opportunity to fully exploit the market potential of their products and strengthen business linkages with international markets.