African Biotrade Festival
The first African Biotrade Festival (ABF) in collaboration with Organic & Natural Products Expo Africa 2023 took place from 14-16 September 2023 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The festival attracted more than 4,000 visitors including 550 dedicated registrations for the ABF.
Visitors could experience African foods, fragrances, flavours, ingredients and cosmetics from more than 130 exhibitors and see how the sector is addressing product quality, market access, regulatory compliance and global competitiveness. Furthermore, the ABF featured six pavilions dedicated to high-potential biotrade species and their sector organisations, and one specialist pavilion to showcase biotrade research, testing and standards. The species on show included Baobab, Marula, Buchu, Sceletium, Honeybush and various indigenous species used for essential and vegetable oils.
The speakers, including government, research, private sector and community representatives, highlighted the potential of biotrade for social and economic development as well as for conserving Africa’s rich biodiversity. The conference programme included a government session to showcase the enabling environment for the biotrade, and an industry session to discuss industry’s role and needs in a flourishing sector. There were talks on intellectual property, case studies about the Baobab and Marula sectors, and a discussion about equitable community involvement in the Honeybush sector. Among many highlights at the event was the historic signing of an Access and Benefit-Sharing (ABS) agreement between the Buchu Association, the SA government represented by DFFE, the National Khoi Council and the South African San Council.
The ABF was organised by the ABioSA and BioInnovation Africa (BIA) projects in partnership with the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE), and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic). ABioSA is funded by SECO and implemented by GIZ; and BIA is funded by the German government through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Please check the official ABF website for updates on upcoming events in 2024.