‘Afrocet Montgomery connects businesses with policy markers’
As stakeholders in construction and mining sectors converge today on Abuja, Nigeria, for the ConMin West Africa and the National Mining Summit, Jamie Pearson, the Marketing and Operations Manager of Afrocet Montgomery, organiser of the event, gives insight to The Guardian. Excerpts by CLEMENT NWOJI.
Could you please let us know detail profile of your organisation?
AFROCET Montgomery is a new partnership that specialises in running high-end exhibitions and events in West Africa. Afrocet has always focused on events in West Africa, while Montgomery stage some of the most prestigious and award winning exhibitions globally. It has over 145 years of experience.
Our combined extensive knowledge and experience of the African market has enabled us to develop a strong portfolio of shows and made us the largest exhibition organiser on the African Continent. Montgomery Group and their global subsidiaries including Afrocet Montgomery belong to these respected associations and groups: Union Foires International (UFI), the British Association of Exhibition Organisers (AEO), the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), the Society of Independent Show Organisers (SISO) and the Association of African Exhibtion Organisers (AAXO). For further information, please visit www.montex.co.uk
Jointly organising ConMin West Africa is: IMAG IMAG, a subsidiary of the Messe München Group, organises trade fairs around the world and supports participants in international events outside Germany on behalf of public and private clients. Since its foundation in 1946 in Munich, IMAG has been involved in over 5,000 international exhibitions abroad.
IMAG’s annual portfolio encompasses approximately 30 trade fairs, spanning around 20 countries. The events focus in particular on the construction materials and equipment sector; automotive, commercial vehicles and auto parts sector; tools and environmental technology and analytics.
Which areas are your business interests in Africa and Nigeria in particular?
Afrocet Montgomery’s remit is West Africa, but at the moment we are only organising events in Nigeria. These are: ConMin West Africa & The National Mining Summit, June 13-15, 2017, Abuja International Conference Centre, www.conminwestafrica.com. Type: The leading event for the construction and mining machinery and infrastructure development industry.
Propak West Africa, September 19-21, 2017. The Landmark Centre, Lagos www.propakwestafrica.com. Type: The largest packaging, food processing, plastics, labelling and print exhibition in West Africa. Securex West Africa & The West African Cyber Security Summit, March 20-21, 2017.
The Landmark Centre, Lagos, www.securexwestafrica.com. Type: The only dedicated commercial and homeland security and public safety event in West Africa. The Montgomery Group, for which Afrocet Montgomery is a subsidiary, also have offices and run events in Kenya, Botswana and South Africa, while its headquarters are in London, UK.
What’s your assessment of business opportunities in Nigeria?
The business opportunity in Nigeria is clear for everyone to see. It’s the largest economy in Africa with the largest population. It has abundant resources and an ever-increasing knowledge base. However, with so many people and opportunities, sometimes bring difficulties in doing business because of understanding the culture and identifying the right people to do business with. In order to do well in Nigeria, the relationships that are generated in the first few years are far more important than the money made.
How will you assess the investment climate in Nigeria as it affects your company and businesses?
As a Nigerian company, we have struggled along with many others over the last couple of years to build on the opportunities we have identified in the market due to overseas hesitation citing the economy. However, we have seen that in the last six months the confidence in the market has increased and the local companies are also collecting on long standing debts, which drive the economy forward.
Working across multiple sectors with our events, we see that the manufacturing sector has been resilient and continuing to really grow this year while the construction market stalled for a while but has benefited from forex movement over the last six months. We continue to think positively about the market and believe it will continue its steady progress forward.
What are the objectives and focus of your forthcoming event in Abuja, Nigeria?
The National Mining Summit and accompanying Construction and Mining Machinery Exhibition are aimed at assisting the sector’s development. Through ensuring all key stakeholders from across the supply chain are present; it will enable for businesses to connect with policy makers and financiers.
Furthermore, with the sector in its infancy – the organisers have allowed for an important mix of international players from countries where mining is far more advanced to offer case studies and advice. This will include Minister, Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane, from South Africa; Minister, Dan Kazungu, from Kenya; Monsieur, Hassane Baraze Moussa, Ministre Des Mines, Niger and Paul Lehman, the High Commissioner of Australia to Nigeria.
Attendees to the Summit will also hear from the likes of Dr. Toni Aubynn, the CEO of the Ghana Minerals Commission; Ms Yewande Sadiku, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council and Mr. Oscar Onyeama, the CEO of Nigeria’s Stock Exchange. These industry experts will be covering topics from Transparency and Sustainability, to Geological Data Generation and Mineral Prospectivity. The two-day programme will provide unparalleled coverage for anyone with an interest in Nigeria’s mining industry.
The exhibition will run for three days from the 13th June and will be opened by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. It will see a wide variety of companies exhibiting from across the construction and solid minerals industries. The conference running alongside the exhibition will be focused on construction with technical sessions held by exhibitors and leading brands and more general sessions including insurance of construction programmes and financing projects.
Visitors will be able to hear from leading industry experts on these pertinent topics, whilst also discovering new technologies, greeting potential partners and generating business for their own organisations at a forum unlike any other ever launched in West Africa.
Going forward, what assurances and guarantees do you offer to your potential customers, partners and Federal Government in your areas of specialties?
We pride ourselves on the ability to run international class exhibitions here and believe our deep-rooted understanding of the region puts us at the forefront of the exhibition industry in Nigeria. We continue to learn and understand the nuances of the region and as such adapt and change our offering to suit the market.
And it’s our drive to help stimulate the economy by bringing together such large gatherings of stakeholders in the different sectors that keep us seeking out new opportunities while developing our current offerings.