27 May 2021
Tshwane is ready to be a gracious MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) host once again, under health and safety protocols and Covid-19 pandemic guidelines, announced Cllr Randall Williams, Executive Mayor of Tshwane, the Capital city of South Africa. At the Africa Day event hosted by the City, which followed strict guidelines, attended by dignitaries and diplomats amongst others, the Mayor together with his economic development, tourism and marketing team, and the Diplomatic Society, set the ball rolling.
Program Director Hulisani Thabela and Acting Head of Tourism for the city (pictured left) presented Tshwane as it emerges as a global centre of international relations.
The city is home to 134 diplomatic missions, 26 international organizations and is the seat of the South African government. This, together with 8 research institutions and 4 institutions of higher learning as well as a number of think tanks and academic associations, makes it the leading knowledge hub of the African continent.
A presentation by Lee-Anne Bac, Director at BDO, an advisory service, pointed out the dire impact of the pandemic as travel restrictions and lockdown regulations decimated the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors of the economy. She recommended a new approach, one that will grow the demand for domestic tourism and intra Africa tourism with an Afro-centric focus and based on African standards. The integration between the regions and countries of Africa, and the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA), will hope to unlock Africa’s immense potential in all its splendour.
Mr Thabiso Magodielo, a MICE specialist at The Diplomatic Society, commented on the abundance of the city he grew up in. He described the city and its world class infrastructure and natural beauty as an ideal destination for MICE. The city has already hosted many high profile guests including Heads of States, Royalty and celebrities. Its 6 298km squared area size makes it the largest Metropolitan in Africa and third largest in the world behind New York City and Tokyo.
Mo Afrika (pictured left), the music group that performed at the event was a reminder of the need to support the arts and artists whose livelihoods were completely disrupted as the pandemic took its toll.
The arts and culture and the creative and cultural industries as a whole is inextricably linked to travel, tourism and hospitality, as they provide the incentives, motivations and entertainment.
The Africa Day event has re-activated the cities tourism and economic platforms.
Mandla Ndlovu, the Chief Marketing Officer of Tshwane’s Economic Development Agency (TEDA) acknowledged the value of the Discover Tshwane event as it leads to a gradual and safe opening up of the capital city.
By K Bhana