Accra May 10, GNA - Many African companies, including 15 in Botswana, have signed-up to participate in this year's Expo Africa scheduled for September in Atlanta, USA. Mr Kwame Owusu Afriyie, Chairman of Expo Africa, told the GNA in an interview that he had been very encouraged during his tour of African countries, as companies had embraced the opportunity to expand their markets and profits.
"Recently, I have been to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana and the reception has been fantastic," said Mr Owusu Afriyie, who was Botswana to attend the Ghana-Botswana Expo.
"My tour of West Africa, especially on the Francophone side, was extremely successful", he said, adding: "I am going to South Africa. "During my visits, I held discussions with government officials, representatives of investment-promotion agencies, business people and investors and they had strongly indicated their support and participation in the event."
About 1,500 companies from 22 countries are expected to participate in the fair, which aims at linking them with American businesses and investors for trade and investment purposes. It would also afford the participating African businesses, the opportunity to network, share ideas and form partnerships for intra African trade.
Mr Owusu Afriyie said Expo Africa Limited, the organiser of the fair, was working with Global Media Alliance, a Public Relations firm, to ensure that the event was well promoted and covered to give the participants the exposure they needed.
The organisers, of the fair to be opened on September 29 to October 2 were also assisting countries and companies, which lacked the experience in organising fairs to prepare for the event. "America would learn about the positive and productive side of Africa contrary to the negatives that they daily watch and hear in their media and also get the opportunity to explore Africa," stressed Mr Owusu Afriyie.
He said Africa needed direct foreign investments to accelerate its developmental processes but it was necessary to market its potentials well.
"Those in the Europe and Asia can afford to sit on the fence and not lose anything because their countries are well-known but we in Africa cannot afford that luxury with that image of negativity tied around us," he noted.
Expo Africa 2005 follows the successful one organised last year by Ghana.