Cape sees benefits of boosting Muslim tourism through Africa Halaal Week

The Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town and Wesgro have announced the launch of what is to be the inaugural Africa Halaal Week 2018, to be held next week (15-17 October).

The week will be used to establish out how South Africa, and Cape Town in particular, can hone its appeal within this trillion-dollar halaal market – whether through travel, investment and trade or a combination of the three.

It is envisaged that the week will foster business links and conversations, as well as highlight opportunities spanning across the tourism, trade, Islamic banking, fashion, film and media, cuisine, investment and trade opportunities in South Africa and Africa more generally.  

The key events taking place include the following.

Halaal Products and Services Trade Exhibition and Business-2-Business Matchmaking; Over 100 Western Cape Halaal Businesses showcasing their halaal certified agri-processed products; Export Market Access Seminars unlocking the  secrets to accessing foreign markets; Modest Fashion Forum Market unpacking the modest  fashion industry and providing insights into accessing the global fashion and  design markets; 1-Day Investment Conference focusing on Islamic Banking, Shariah Finance and Project Funding; The role of Islamic finance in growing the  Western Cape Halaal industry; Tourism Conference focusing on understanding the  trends and opportunities that exist within the global halal tourism industry as  well as insights on successfully hosting the Muslim traveller; The Western Cape as a Muslim-friendly Film and Media destination.

About 40 international buyers, CEOs and key opinion leaders operating in the international halaal industry are set to participate in Africa Halal Week 2018.

Addressing the media about the conceptualisation of Project Khulisa and the importance of linking the project to Halaal generally, Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, unpacked the initiative’s attempt to grow the Western Cape’s share of the Halal market, from less than 1% to 2%. 

Winde said, “We’ve grown the Halaal Market by over R900 million since 2015. Under Project Khulisa, the Western Cape alone is responsible for exporting over R10 billion in Halaal products. We look forward to nurturing this already lucrative market to see it expand even further within the province, creating much-needed jobs and boosting the Cape’s economy.”

Rashid Toefy, Deputy Director General of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) said: “The role of Africa Halaal Week is to put Cape Town and the Western Cape on the map as a preferred Halaal trading partner. The province is perfectly positioned, with frequent and direct flights into the rest of Africa, to become a hub for Halaal on the continent, and a launch pad for international partners to access the African markets.”

With demographic growth rates showing that the Muslim population is growing at double the rate of the non-Muslim world, it is predicted that the global Muslim population will comprise 31% of the total global population by 2060.

According to Nezaam Josephs, Chief Director of Economic Sector Support at DEDAT, halaal travel contributed $1,5 trillion (R20,81 trillion at $1/R13,87) in 2015 with the sector growing at a rate of 9%. Over 60% or 1,7 billion Muslim people are under the age of 30 and are increasingly mobile and looking for exciting and inviting travel opportunities and experiences.

This confluence of realities is precisely what Africa Halaal Week seeks to engage with so as to see how a larger portion of the halal travel market makes Cape Town and the Western Cape a destination of first choice. 

Professor Ebrahim Arnold – Chairperson of the Interim Halal Co-ordinating Committee says, “Africa Halaal Week is an opportunity for every one of all persuasions to visit the Western Cape, and be encapsulated by the more than 300 years history of the impact of Halaal living. With the ever-growing population of Muslims globally, the opportunities for the industry abound. Cape Town boasts the first Halaal certification process in the industry and is supported by Halaal certifiers who are seriously striving towards maintaining Global Standards for Halaal processes.”

Wesgro CEO Tim Harris highlighted the importance of Halaal to boost travel and tourism.

“Our province is rich in history, across a multitude of religions, ethnic groups and cultures. Halaal is one of the threads that reveal the tolerance of our city as well as our capabilities in delivering on the requirements of this sector. We are perfectly positioned at the Southern tip of Africa to tap into this growing consumer base and increase our capacity in the Halaal supply chain, with the goal of growing the Cape’s Halaal Market share,” concluded Harris. – Traveller24

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