This year, Africa Works!, the Benelux's largest business forum about Africa, will focus on, among other things, food. This event will take place on June 28 in The Hague, the Netherlands. Important themes include sustainable food production, renewable energy, and water.
What role can business play in Africa's rapid development? How can they do so in a future-proof manner? What opportunities does that create for your business? These significant themes will be discussed during the fifth edition of Africa Works!
"For us, it was crucial to include food as one of the three main themes," says Núria Vlonk-Cunha Soares, Africa Works!' project leader, on behalf of the Netherlands-African Business Council. According to Núria, who is very familiar with fruit and vegetable imports from Africa, there are still opportunities aplenty for further expanding both organic and conventional fruit and vegetable exports from Africa.
"Some companies are interested in Africa but don't want to travel there yet. For them, Africa Works! is a great opportunity to take that first step. An Egyptian delegation specializing in soft fruit production is coming to Africa Works! There are also ten companies from Algeria and a group from Nigeria," Núria says.
Besides exports, many participants want to increase local food production and thus be less dependent on imports. Nigeria has over 200 million inhabitants, a figure expected to surpass that of the United States before the end of this century. So, it is a huge growth market for the Netherlands.
'Innovation for Resilient growth' is another of Africa Works!' themes this year. Here, the accent lies on not only food but water and energy too. Participants can listen to inspiring speakers and take part in substantive workshops on the three themes.
Business opportunities in five different African countries will be presented during the country-specific workshops. And during the investor session, supply and demand will be brought together. Of course, there will also be plenty of networking opportunities during the day.
Africa Works! is organized in partnership with knowledge partner TNO and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Directorate for Sustainable Economic Development (DDE). The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Liesje Schreinemacher, will give the opening speech.