The Austrian Chamber of Commerce was delighted with the rush of visitors at the Africa Day 2018, which took place in Vienna on January 30th under the motto “New markets - strong growth”. “A record result was achieved with almost 400 participants and around 200 one-on-one discussions with the business delegates present,” said Patrick Sagmeister, deputy head of the Außenwirtschaft Austria.
Networking and training
Chamber of Commerce President Christoph Leitl emphasized in his welcome speech the enormous opportunities of domestic companies in the African market: "We are a small country, but our ideas have no limits." The South African start-up entrepreneur Nwabisa Mayema called in her keynote the reinforced Engaging African women entrepreneurs in the global business community and turning away from the myths circulating about doing business in Africa.
Specific challenges in the African project business were highlighted by Strabag Project Manager Jan Göttsche. He emphasized the need to work with local communities as well as invest in training local staff.
On to Africa
In addition to top-class keynotes, the participants of the Africa Day were offered a wide range of workshops and discussion panels. The Cross-Culture Workshop, for example, where business delegates Franz Bachleitner and Youssouf Simbo Diakite from the African Diaspora Youth Forum gave tips on day-to-day business in Africa, met with great interest. The Investment Strategies workshop also offered a mix of facts and personal insights. The conclusion of the business delegates in Nigeria Nella Hengstler: "Many Austrian companies have yet to make their first experiences in African markets before actually investing on the ground." That there is enough potential for such a deeper commitment - that was what everyone in Africa was talking about All agree.