DISTREE Africa to grow delegate participation
Inaugural expo hailed a success as more partners look forward to next year’s event
Following the debut DISTREE Africa event, DISTREE Events, the organisers of the premier global consumer electronics expo has revealed bold plans that will see it grow the number of delegates and vendor brands participating at next year's show.
The carefully structured event format, which gave ICT and consumer electronics (CE) brands the opportunity to pre-schedule a series of one-on-one meetings with leading distributors, resellers, solution providers and retailers from across Africa, saw more than 40 vendors and 15 distributors exhibit products at the debut event in Nairobi.
Farouk Hemraj, CEO at DISTREE Events, said: "More than 300 delegates attended the event, including 100-plus vendor and distributor executives, representatives from more than 90 key Africa resellers and senior management from more than 30 top regional retailers."
"In total, more than 150 companies attended DISTREE Africa 2014, plus analysts, expert speakers and press. With delegates from more than 18 African countries, more than 1000 pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings were held between delegates," he added.
Hemraj said based on the feedback, DISTREE Events anticipates that the expo will grow both from a delegate perspective and exhibitor participation. "I am forecasting a whole new event emerging for Africa as we are attracting retailers, resellers and systems integrators to the show," he said. "With the consumer/corporate product lines blurring, there is need especially in Africa to use DISTREE as a platform where solutions can also be showcased for the corporate market."
Hemraj said the company plans to attract more value focused distributors based in the Middle East to look at opportunities that are emerging as governments on the continent ready their e-government initiatives.
He said with most African governments driving e-government strategies, vendors and channel partners that participate at the event next year will be able to hear from corporate and commercial clients, and see how they can capitalise on business opportunities emerging as a result of this push.
"This channel event provides a perfect business platform for vendors looking to launch, build or manage routes to market across fast growing African markets. We were pleased with the vendor line up that participated at the first event and we are looking forward to bringing a varied mix of channel partners, vendors and distributors next year," he said.
Brown Otuya, Secretary of Administration, Ministry of ICT, who inaugurated the event and delivered a keynote on behalf of Dr. Fred Matiang'i, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of ICT, Kenya, thanked the organisers for selecting Kenya as the host of the first DISTREE Africa expo.
In a keynote address, Otuya said the Kenyan government remained committed to promoting and advancing the ICT sector in the country. "In the last decade, the government has supported the growth of the ICT industry by liberalising the sector," he told delegates.
Otuya said hosting the debut DISTREE Africa event will only aid the government's resolve to continue to provide frameworks that foster growth in ICT. "We have continued to support growth in the ICT and today, the ICT ministry has continued to invest in terrestrial infrastructure resulting in 34 counties out of 47 in the country being connected to broadband," he remarked.
With events such as DISTREE Africa, players in the Kenyan ICT industry will be able to meet with technology vendors from around the global as these businesses look to extend their presence in East Africa and the entire African continent, Otuya said.