Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says the Expo 2020, currently hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, will provide South Africa with an opportunity to rejuvenate its ailing economy.
Sisulu will depart for Dubai on Sunday to attend the Expo 2020, the first World Expo to be hosted in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA region) and the first to be hosted by an Arab country.
It is expected to attract about 192 countries and more than a million people or visitors from around the world. Visitors are promised cultural experiences, entertainment and educational exhibits and talks.
“The Expo will also help promote destination South Africa and inspire the world to visit our shores, secure investment opportunities as well as to highlight the work of the industry, which is built on the concept of inclusivity and sustainability,” said the minister in a statement on Friday.
Prior the Covid-19 pandemic, South Africa’s tourism enjoyed a positive trade balance with the rest of the world. In 2019, it contributed about 8.7% to the GDP and created about 1.5 million jobs both directly and indirectly.
South Africa’s theme, Inspiring inclusive and industrial diversity and excellence, highlights opportunities from the country’s diversity as South Africans and on how industrialisation continues to inspire inclusivity, transformation, connectivity, and mobility.
Today (10 December), the world got a glimpse of North West Province as the South African pavilion continues its provincial showcase series at the Expo 2020 in Dubai.
“Presented as a virtual showcase on the South African Pavilion online portal, attendees will get a sliver of each of the nine provinces over the next three weeks. The pavilion’s theme ‘Think South Africa, Think Opportunity,’ calls on investors from around the world to consider South Africa a business destination,” said the minister.
South African artists at EXPO 2020 Dubai
In October, Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa said SA’s participation was designed as a recovery plan for a post-pandemic boost, especially for artists.
“Artists participation – particularly emerging artists (youth and women) – taking up international platforms is viewed as a positive story to tell and, in turn, upliftment to the economy.”
“Team South Africa for the Expo 2020 inauguration programme will be a representation of the various parts of South Africa, showcasing amongst others; history and heritage, cultural diversity, creativity, and innovation as well as sport dynamism,” the department said.
Additional reporting by Cheryl Kahla