Australia Africa Business Council
by Guest Author
Governor-General Hosts Reception for AABC NSW Chapter
The Governor-General Quentin Bryce and her husband Michael Bryce recently hosted a reception for the New South Wales (NSW) Chapter of the Australia Africa Business Council (AABC) at Admiralty House.
The reception was attended by members and friends of the AABC including representatives from the African Diplomatic Corp and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trades NSW office.
Delivering a short speech to the AABC, the Governor General reflected on her tour of Africa in March 2009, which included visits to Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa.
She also mentioned the extent of Australia investment to sub-Saharan Africa, which is estimated to be US$20billion with most of this investment directed towards the mining and resources sector and about 220 Australian companies now operating in Africa.
In a vote of thanks, the president of AABC NSW chapter Rufaro Maunze noted that the AABC had in the past and would continue to play a role in bridging the gap between Australia and African business communities. She mentioned key highlights for 2009, including the AABC International Trade and Investment Conference held at the Gold Coast, the Doing Business in Africa Discussion Panel and the Africa Festival.
Africa Festival 2009
The 6th annual Africa Festival was held at Hyde Park, Sydney in December 2009. Conceived six years ago by Leigh Pillay, who has served as festival director ever since, the event was supported by the AABC NSW chapter.
The festival provided opportunities for the high commissions of South Africa, Uganda, Botswana, Kenya and Nigeria to promote travel and trade to their countries. In addition, African food, fashion, art and craft, travel and tourism was promoted at more than 20 market stalls.
African and Australian musicians, dancers and artists, including Chris Gudu and Mike Champion, entertained the crowd throughout the day. The entertainment was organised by South African-born Tiana Canterbury, who worked selflessly and tirelessly to make the onstage program a success.
Proceeds from the festival go to African charity organisations with a focus on the development of African children as the future of the continent. The Africa Festival has assisted 12 African charities since inception. The 2009 proceeds went to an Ethiopian orphanage the Beyond The Orphanage Foundation, and the Friends of Claude Ho in Thyolo Association, a charity that assists children in Malawi.
AABCs 2009 International Trade and Investment Conference
The Australia Africa Business Council (AABC) held a successful trade and investment conference on the Gold Coast during the last quarter of 2009.
Conference delegates came from Australia, as well as African business communities. Also in attendance were African high commissioners to Australia, Australian high commissioners to Africa, senior trade commissioners and key industry professionals from both continents. The attendance reflected the importance given to growing the relationship between Australia and the African continent.
The conference offered Australian and African businesspeople an opportunity to network with key decision makers from both continents. It served as a platform for dialogue, the exchange of ideas and for trade and investment opportunities.
Key specialists provided in-depth analyses of the African and Australian business environment and investment opportunities available in Africa.
The conference dispelled myths and allowed for informed investment decisions, providing information that addressed some of the key issues affecting the trade and investment relationship between Australia and Africa.
The Australia Africa Business Council aims to unite business communities on both continents. The Council promotes business networks, social contacts and increased trade and investment between Africa and Australia.