Organizers Disappointed With GNA Report
Following a news report by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) dated September 5, 2005 on the Anglo African Business and Trade Exhibition which was scheduled to take place from July 28 to 30, the organisers of the event have taken exception to the report which was totally false and creates the impression that the organisers have not done anything at all to ensure the exhibition was a successful.
The organisers would like to point out here to the general public and indeed prospective exhibitors that it is not responsible for the issue of visas to any prospective exhibition. The claim by the GNA that some visa applicants were refused visas because the event lacks integrity is not only baseless but also treacherous.
In order to ensure that the event is free from any visa scam, the organisers vetted exhibitors and ensured that applicants are made aware of their own responsibility with regards to securing a visa to attend the event. Some genuine applicants were issued with their visas and for those who were found not to be eligible for a visa at the time were refused. Individual applicants were given reasons as to why their visas were refused and there was no mention by the British High Commission of the event lacking credibility. It is the view if the organisers that not only does this reflect poor journalism but also demonstrates the extent to which some people will go to destroy the hard earned reputation of organisations and entrepreneurs.
It must also be noted that the event was postponed to November because of the exceptional circumstances in the United Kingdom in July, with regards to the terrorists bombings. There are security agencies in Britain who are responsible for national security issues and the attempt by the writer of the said article to create the impression that it is the duty of the organisers to prove that they would provide high security is not only baseless but also out of order.
It must be noted that AABTE was not the only event to be postponed at the Excel in the month of July. If the writer is a journalist worth his name, he could have crosschecked these facts with the Excel. Moreover, the writer did not make any mention of the successful one day African Trade and Investment Conference that took place on July 28 to accommodate those who had booked to attend the conference. The small number of people who had booked to attend the conference made it easier for that event to be organised. It is therefore not totally true that nothing had been done to at all.
We also made it clear that anybody who did not want to participate in the expo anymore should write to our offices before the 7th of May 2005 in the event of cancellation. In the absence of that, no cancellations or refunds will be made except 21 days after the event has been staged.
The organisers also reserved the right to altar the programme at anytime in the interest of the continuity of the event.
A total of 50 companies were registered in Ghana and not 80 as reported by the GNA. Out of these 50 companies, over 90% of them have written back to our office to reconfirm their participation in the November event after we have communicated the postponement to them in July. So far it is only five companies that have written back to tell us about their disinterest in taking part in the November event. Out of these five companies, two submitted fake document to the British High Commission and are scared to go back to the High Commission for fear of being arrested the next time they appear. In view of all this, we are shocked by the article made by the GNA since most of the allegations are unfounded and baseless and the writer did not crosschecked and get their facts right before publishing the story.
We wish to state here that those assertions being leveled against us will not move us or deter us to change our company policies as stated in the contract and we are not moving away from that position. We also wish to let the media know that these allegations are being perpetrated by only two people who are aggrieved because they cannot go back to the British High Commission and are out to destroy our hard earned reputation.