The Annual Ambassadors' Dinner 2015
A room full of potential investment opportunities and prominent African participants are the characteristics of the Annual Ambassadors’ Dinner organized by the NABC and sponsored by Rabobank. The entire event is characterized by the presence of African Ambassadors from North, South, East and West Africa, hereby providing the needed gateway to Africa for the Dutch private sector. This event has proven to facilitate the investment activities of NABC members in Africa by connecting them with the needed African Ambassadors of their choice.
The first part of the day consisted of the Exclusive Ambassadors’ Session, a seminar organized by Rabobank. The purpose of the event was generating first hand information on investments opportunities in Africa. During this session, the focus was on how African Ambassadors perceive the economic potential of other African countries and in which African countries they will invest if given the opportunity. For the top 5 chosen African countries, representatives elaborated on the factors that contributed to the attractiveness of their country. This led to interesting interaction between Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia and Sudan.
The second part of the event consisted of the matchmaking session. With the lounge area divided in West, East, South and North Africa, the NABC members positioned themselves among these sections, hereby having the chance to network with representatives from different countries from the same region at the same time and place. The matchmaking session was partially structured to leave room for the members to network with any available African Ambassador or Economic Attaché. This granted all our members equal access to the African Ambassadors.
The matchmaking session was followed by the plenary session. At this moment, Irene Visser, Managing Director of NABC, took the floor to present the new NABC management team and NABC activities in both 54 African countries and the Netherlands. During the plenary session Mr Bruno Witvoët, Unilevers’ CEO of Africa said a few words about the investments opportunities in Africa and the know-hows of Unilever.
For the first time, NABC hosted a talk show on the “Doing Business in Africa” Award moderated by Marina Diboma with the two nominees for "Doing Business in Africa" Award namely Ruud Berkers (Marel Stork) and Andre Dekker (Bejo Zaden). The other two participants of the talk show were Bruno Witvoët (Unilevers' President of Africa) and Robert Kayinamura (Economic Attaché of the Rwandian Embassy). The talk show focused on the topic of business opportunities in Africa and the participants’ company’s experiences with doing business in Africa. On this issue Robert Kayinamura stated: “Africa is booming and becoming the new business hotspot”, a statement shared by all the attendees and participants. At the end Bejo Zaden came out as the clear winner with 67% of the vote hereby winning the White Elephant and an advertisement in the NABC magazine 2016.
The final activity of the event was the Dinner, where NABC members and the African Ambassadors had the opportunity to network around the dinner table. During dinner, Ben Zwinkels, Chairman of NABC board, and Teshome Toga, Ambassador of Ethiopia, gave concluding remarks and once again stressed the contribution of the Dutch private sector in Africa, and the economic gains from successful NABC trade mission and events for Ethiopia and other African countries. This success is the aim for all upcoming NABC events and trade mission in 2016.