Interview with Simon Cole, Managing Director, Informa Exhibitions Egypt and co-organiser of Africa Food Manufacturing.
Africa Food Manufacturing is a new brand name for a pre-existing event. Can you tell us why you made the decision to change an already successful event?
We felt that the event needed to re-focus on the food packaging and processing industry and decided that the existing name of Afropackaging and Food Manufacturing, whilst having a strong following, diluted the messaging and took the brand beyond food and into other FMCG sectors.
Afropack and Afrofood-tech still exist as sub-brands so haven’t disappeared but they now sit nicely under the umbrella brand which spells out exactly what the shows is about- Africa Food Manufacturing
What is SMART manufacturing and why is it the theme for the first edition of AFM?
We are incredibly excited about this theme for AFM 2017. Smart manufacturing is all about using clever systems and tools in the manufacturing process (at any part of the chain) to increase productivity whilst reducing costs, improving reliability and uptime and reducing waste.
This is a very important global topic but particularly hits home in Africa where demand for fmcg and food products is increasing rapidly and waste levels are rising. Developed markets have been facing and solving this issue for years by introducing new processes, services and smart technologies which simply haven’t reached the African markets. We want to facilitate that process.
What type of visitors are you expecting to visit your event in 2017?
With the event taking place in Cairo, Egypt we will in no doubt attract Egypt’s fast going number of food manufacturers. There will be VIP programme for the CEO levels who will additionally be invited to attend the Smart Manufacturing Forum.
Following the success of last year’s hosted buyer programme, this year we are increasing the number of spaces on the programme from 10 to 100, and we are focussing on attracting buyers from the Tripartite Free Trade Area, which includes 26 African nations. We expect the highest number of buyers to attend from Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda and The Democratic Republic of the Congo amongst other influential countries such as Nigeria and Kenya.
How will you be marketing the 2017 event?
This year is all about adding valuable content to the event. We feel that by making sure the exhibitors and their products, the event theme, seminars and activities are aligned and valuable to the industry then the marketing is a secondary objective because we are delivering a true Industry event that will be a must-attend for the important suppliers and buyers of the industry. In addition, we have some new partnerships in place with European trade commissions who have powerful voices in the industry and are completely aligned with our event proposition. 2017 will be an exciting edition!
This content was originally published here.