In Benin, the exhibition of local products will be held at the Royal Hotel in Cotonou from Saturday 09 to Sunday 10 April 2022. The initiative aims not only to promote “Made in Benin” products but also to intensify intra-community trade.
The idea of the Great Meeting of Artisans from Africa and the Diaspora (GRAAD) was born with the aim of highlighting local businesses and promoting local African consumption. Indeed, GRAAD is a crossroads of discovery that reveals the treasures and wonders of Africa. It is also a melting pot that allows all Africans to come together to converge their efforts to make “Made in Africa” a label that will allow Africa to better integrate into the international market.
As a prelude to this great meeting between Africans, an important fair of local products is being organised at the Benin Royal Hotel on Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10 called Mini-GRAAD. Several activities are planned during these two days to highlight local products and make them known to Beninese and international consumers. The current context marked by the Covid-19 health and food crises that are spreading obliges it. “If we consume our African products, which are pure antioxidants and vitamin C, we will be safe from many ailments,” reassures Nadine Hagen, the project leader. “We expect men and women who are innovative, who have taken African products and transformed them. We are waiting for consumers, distributors and all those who have the desire to promote African products.
In addition to sales and purchases, communications and B-to-B experience sharing sessions are planned between entrepreneurs to stimulate consumer interest. So, this weekend, when you visit Benin Royal Hotel, you will find African products, home-made in the best hygienic conditions and certified for the most part by the ABSSA.
Initiated by the Cameroonian Nadine Hagen, the organisation of such an event responds to a double imperative: to encourage the consumption of “Made in Benin or in Africa” by the Beninese or Africans and to encourage economic operators to invest in local production. “Other communities (Chinese, Americans, Europeans) consume their products. Promoting local products is about feeding the farmer, the processor, but if we can’t sell, they can’t live,” said Nadine Hagen.
Beyond the label, the aim is to encourage the development of value chains on the continent to enable it to better benefit from its own wealth. “In reality, the real wealth is with those who grow. I live in London and I have everything I want there. But I am an African and I know that we are not poor. What we don’t have are the industries, the know-how, how to sell our products,” she insists.
Moreover, over the last decade, entrepreneurship has developed very rapidly in Africa. Indeed, it is seen as the bedrock of economic growth on the continent. It is also a sustainable way of creating jobs and an attractive scheme for the younger generation. Every day, companies and startups are created. Better still, these new companies are setting up and revolutionising “Made in Africa”.