Dubai will in the near future hold an inaugural business promotion dubbed EXPO 2020 DUBAI in which over 130 countries will take part. Some of these participants will come from Africa of which 11 have already confirmed their attendance.
During an International Participants Meeting which was held on 19 October 2017, twenty nine counties confirmed their participation and signed contracts for Expo 2020; this includes 11 African countries namely Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, DRC, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Togo.
Expo 2020 Dubai will set aside 100Million Dollars which will be available to successful applicants that meet the criteria laid down. The funds will not be provided on a silver platter but will be offered to successful bidders that will have to prove that they are engaged in ventures that enhance the well-being of their people by being innovative and providing answers to the suffering of the masses in order to alleviate poverty.
Further, those whose applications will be approved will be given an opportunity to prove their worth to the millions of viewers at the Expo 2020 Dubai. Each successful applicant will be entitled up to $100 000.00 per project so approved and monitoring of such ventures will be done to ensure proper utilisation of such resources. It is also documented that the previous two successful similar arrangements, 45 Expo Live Global Innovators from 30 countries had been selected and some of them were based in Africa.
Expo 2020 Dubai according to the organisers is intended to enhance and promote international relations among many players so that there is exchange of ideas and collaboration among the participating nations not only for the year 2020 but also for the future.
The Expo whose main interest is in Africa will be the first one to be held in the Middle East and developing world in general. The event is planned to run from 10 October 2020 to 10 April 2021 under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’ Africa therefore is being challenged to use this rare opportunity to come up with innovative ideas so that they do not miss out on the various benefits that consequently may alleviate poverty in the continent. It is also an opportunity for Africa to connect with the rest of the world, interact and learn from other continents so that the Africa does not lag behind in terms of development.
Expo 2020 Dubai will also focus not only on big businesses but also the Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) that will come from all over the world. The SMEs are key to development of any nation. SMEs foster development in that they create employment which most if not all developing counties lack; they make the various industries strong because of competition amongst themselves thereby stimulating growth.
It documented that the Expo will set aside 20% of the contracts for SMEs, Africa therefore should not lose this rare opportunity. Most of the African people are poor and lack capital to run businesses hence Expo 2020 Dubai will provide a solution.