Friday, 01 May 2015
The 2nd edition of the Africa-Belgium Business Week ended at Château du Lac de Genval (Walloon Brabant) on Thursday afternoon. Christian Liongo, president of the non-profit organisation, Africa Rise, which was organising the event, made a first assessment. “We went from 270 participants last year to almost 800 this year,” he celebrated. “Both private and public, there were 400 African actors, 390 Europeans and 10 from Quebec. The largest delegation was the 50-strong DRC delegation. The Ivory Coast, the featured country this year, sent 30+.”
After talks with the government team which had come for the event, several Belgian companies will travel to the Ivory Coast to sign contracts during the first week in June. However it is too early to count how many trade deals were signed over the 3 days. “What I do know, is that the firm FIB and Delaunoit has signed an excellent contract with Benin. They will work together in tandem.”
The forum also attracts firms from the north of the country. “At the first edition, 80% of Belgian companies were from Wallonia or Brussels. This year, there were mostly Flemish companies. Our forum has become truly national,” pointed out Mr. Liongo, who was also very happy with the visit from Prime Minister Charles Michel on Tuesday afternoon. “Prince Laurent also paid us a visit on Thursday morning. He is fascinated by environment issues in Africa,” added the president of the NPO.