By Oluchi Chibuzor
The Africa Balloon Conference (AFBC) has organised it maiden event in the continent which was centred on how to create a robust platform for businesses to growthrough collaboration and networking.
Speaking at the official lunch of the 2018 conference, tagged, “Balloon Perk,” held recently in Lagos, the Convener and Chief Executive Officer, PEC Events, Funmi Omoyele, noted that, AFBC came out of the need to strengthen the balloon industry in Nigeria and Africa like they did in developed nations and to create global visibility for entrepreneurs interested in balloon business in the continent, to leverage on the value chain of sector, which was put at billions of naira.
She urged the government to consider empowering unemployed youths in respective areas of the enterprise.
The balloonist, who also said the balloon industry, holds diverse opportunities for potential investors, added that it has helped them to train various prospective clients across different states in Nigeria with world class balloon decoration and business skills.
“We have brought in masters and experts in the industry and in business to skilfully guide you on how to navigate profitably and scale up your individual businesses, and to lead in deepening the conversations needed to move the industry forward, while creating a robust platform to engender the necessary engagements, inclusiveness, networking, synergy and collaboration among all players and stakeholders,” she told her audience.
She further added: “That the conference will continue to champion development and shall contribute our meaningful quota to tackling the unemployment menace among the people, especially the youths and furnish them with marketable skills to help them setup their own business, so they can in turn employ and train others.”
However with the industry currently emerging and disruptive in nature beyond the event industry in areas such as arts, tourism, economic empowerment, environmental sustainability, manufacturing, education, panelists believed that stakeholders needed to equip themselves with tools and skills to compete with the global standards, while calling for more investors to go into manufacturing of different accessories as all the materials are currently imported.
On their parts, various speakers agreed that decorative balloons were taking a foothold in event places displacing fabrics and accessories.