IFP Group announces entry into Rwanda

Delegates arriving to attend a meeting in Kigali. (File)

The International Fairs and Promotions (IFP) Group, one of the largest organisers of trade exhibitions in the Middle East, has announced its debut on the local market. 

The firm, which works in five countries in the Middle East, is organising its first international trade exhibition for construction materials and equipment in the country.

Tony Ghattas, the Company’s Chief Operating Officer, told the press that they were moving to facilitate businesses to access broader markets.

“We are extending our presence in this region with ‘Project Africa - Rwanda’ to provide a strategic International platform to access the local and regional markets,” he said.

Ghattas says he has been visiting Rwanda for the past 11 years and has been thinking about what he can do for the country.

Frank Murangwa, Director of Destination Marketing at the Rwanda Convention Bureau. File

The company he works for, he said, has “allowed me to execute on what I have deeply had in my heart for a long time.”

IFP works in Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq and claims to have organised 500 international exhibitions.

The Rwandan expo which will feature a conference is expected to draw 10,000 participants from different parts of the region and elsewhere.

It will be the largest gathering that will be hosted at the Kigali Convention Centre after the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) which will take place early next month.

According to the organisers, the expo will take place next year in November and will convene exhibitors providing different construction services and buyers.

Frank Murangwa, Director of Destination Marketing at the Rwanda Convention Bureau endorsed IFP’s work saying it will enhance the country’s stand in the region.

“We believe that Project Africa - Rwanda will continue to enhance the positioning of Rwanda as a MICE hub in the region,” he noted.

Murangwa said the firm’s choice to come to Rwanda clearly demonstrates Rwanda’s readiness to do business.

Rwanda seeks to position itself as a regional trade and logistics hub. 

Through such an exhibition, they believe they will give an international community a window to explore potential in the country.

Focus on construction

Organisers say their focus on the construction is hinged on the belief that investments in infrastructure and construction activities are growing in the country.

“Construction is a key segment in the country that we believe contributes to driving the economic growth,” Murangwa said.

The sector registered a 14 per cent growth last year, according to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda data.

It is expected to grow at the rate of 9 per cent until 2021, driven by mega infrastructure projects like Bugesera International Airport, investments in water treatment plant a, Rusumo Hydro power project, as well as energy and road construction projects.

IFP hopes to collaborate with Rwanda to facilitate businesses to seize share of these projects and generate new businesses.

Ghattas indicated that a study conducted highlighted that every exhibition that takes place creates nine opportunities for people that support the ecosystem of such an event.

“If you do the maths, we are providing 90,000 opportunities to different people across the value chain,” he noted.

The International Trade Exhibition for Construction Materials and Equipment will be an annual event.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com