2020 Africa Food Show begins virtually

The 2020 Africa Food Show (AFS) virtual exhibition started on Monday 20 July, bringing together agricultural players from across the continent.

The five-day online business-to-business (B2B) platform aims to bring together top leaders and experts in the food industry to deliver unparalleled content and increase foreign direct investment between various nations.

The virtual exhibition comes at a time when the word is hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 14.6 million people and killed over 609,000, according to data from the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

The health crisis has caused disruptions in critical sectors, including the agricultural sector. The AFS virtual exhibition however hopes to play a key part in easing the troubles by developing solutions that will keep agriculture safely running as an essential business.

The opening meeting was attended by Egypt’s Minister for Industry and Trade Nevine Gamaa, the CEO Retail Traders Association of Kenya Wairimu Mbarire, Director, Ziyang Municipal Bureau of Commerce (China) Yu Guibing, Director General Agriculture and Food Authority Kenya Anthony Muriithi, MIE Group Board Chairman David Wang, among other leaders.

“I look forward to the work ahead,” said Wang. “We are a resilient, innovative organisation and we are dedicated to developing platforms and services that will strengthen global food trade. AFS VE is the timely solution we have designed to help food manufacturers, buyers, distributors and suppliers recover from the impact of COVID-19.”

On her part, Gamaa said the continent could turn the COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity and spark a digital revolution in Africa’s agriculture sector.

“We want to consider the Coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity, rather than an ordeal, and we have observed that despite it, we can actually continue to open up new markets,” she said. “We hope that this exhibition will be the start of other similar exhibitions because this pandemic has compelled us to digitize rapidly and deploy the use of communication technology in our meetings and conferences.”

MIE is a Dubai based International exhibition organizer, which has brought over 80,000 Chinese and International SME/Manufacturers to Middle East and Africa over the past 20 years.

With the 2020 Africa Food Show, it hopes to reconnect global supply chains and improve trade and communication between China and Africa amid the current global pandemic.