Innovations from Southern Africa - Virtual Trade Fair Pitch of the Business Scouts for Development programme

Since spring the virtual trade fair pitches of the Business Scouts for Development programme have offered companies from developing and emerging countries the chance to participate in a comprehensive trade fair promotion programme and present their innovative product and service ideas. After West, East and Central African companies had already taken part in the trade fair pitches, companies from Southern Africa now had the opportunity to convince a jury of experts.

Innovation from Southern Arica

The sixth virtual trade fair pitch of the Business Scouts for Development (BSfD) programme brought together 26 selected companies from Southern Africa from 13th to 15th of July. The companies originated from various sectors, such as technology and manufacturing, creative services, agricultural processing, handicrafts, cosmetics and accessories. A virtual country-specific exhibition landscape gave them the opportunity to present their products and services.

The jury of the virtual trade fair pitch consisted of eleven representatives of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA), FairPros and the German Trade Fair Association (AUMA), FairPros, Manuyoo, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Import Promotion Desk (IPD) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Together with the South African Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and the Namibian Office of Investment Promotion and Development the jury selected a total of 26 finalists.

Picture 1: © goldenebotschaft GmbH

The winners convinced the committee with their innovative business models and sustainable approaches. They now have access to the trade fair support of the Business Scouts for Development programme that prepares them for future participations in leading German and European trade fairs.

Craftsmanship from Namibia

One of the selected companies is the Namibian arts and crafts company Omba Arts Trust that has been promoting sustainable living standards and disadvantaged artisan communities for more than 30 years. The company's products include jewelry made from ostrich eggshells, baskets and contemporary San art and textiles. Omba aims to produce and market a range of high quality and unique Namibian products that are rooted in the local culture and have a modern style.

Through the trade fair promotion Omba hopes to establish contacts with the European customers. Particularly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism sector, local sales have dropped sharply. The company therefore wants to use the opportunity to expand its wholesale and export markets in order to increase and maintain the income of the artisans.

Picture 2: © Omba Trust Arts

Technology meets education in South Africa

Companies from the engineering and manufacturing sector were also convincing, including The Engineering HUB. According to their managing director, Wesley Augustyn, the company's goal is "to improve people's lives through engineering". The Engineering HUB offers products and services in automation, precision engineering, industrial contracting and marine engineering. The company produces quality machined components at competitive rates and works with innovative testing facilities that support their workmanship. It has been supplying German equipment manufacturers in South Africa for almost 10 years and currently supplies up to 80 multinational factories.

The young and dynamic company was particularly convincing because of its socially sustainable strategy, as The Engineering HUB focuses strongly on up skilling communities in South Africa.

The company became aware of the virtual trade fair pitch through the AHK Southern Africa. The trade fair preparation programme now enables the company to successfully present their products to the international market. In doing so they want to win new customers and at the same time provide an alternative option for importing machined components.

Picture 3: © The Engineeering HUB

Business Scouts support companies on their way to European Trade Fairs

Business Scouts for Development work as development policy experts in around 40 countries across the globe. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ), they advise German, European and local companies on development policy matters and promote responsible business engagement through cooperation projects. The Business Scouts for Development work closely with partners from business associations and institutions and from TVET organisations both in Germany and in each country.

Would you like to get more information on the trade fair pitches? Frank Fromme and Sarah Vogt  are available as contact persons.

Headerphoto: © goldenebotschaft GmbH, 2021 has launched a special call supporting companies in Ukraine and Moldova, as well as civil society organisations in Germany. Find out more on the special pages.