This was the message from South African Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, who was speaking last week at a gala dinner at the end of the first day of Meetings Africa.
The business events exhbition, held at Sandton Convention Centre, was marking its tenth anniversary and looking forward to the next decade.
Hanekom commented on how the tradeshow has grown from strength to strength over the last decade to become the best and most accessible pan-African business events platform.
"Aptly, our theme is: Advancing Africa Together. Collective effort is the way to go – in fact, it is essential if we all wish to continue on this robust growth path," Hanekom said, adding that South Africa is 'bullish about the future' of the business events industry.
South Africa has secured 177 major international association meetings for the next five years. These meetings will have an estimated economic impact of R3.5 billion and will bring about 253,000 delegates to the country.
Hanekom added: "Business events and conventions are arteries for innovation and new thinking in the knowledge economy. This is where the best minds connect, where competitiveness in the global market place is redefined, and where we create platforms to collaboratively solve common global problems."