Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, 23 May 2018 – The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) declared a new outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) on 8 May 2018. Following this announcement, the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI), the Association of African Exhibition Organisers (AAXO) and the Exhibition & Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA) feels obliged to elaborate on this latest outbreak and its potential effect on the industry in our region.
The outbreak is confirmed to have originated in Bikoro in the Equateur Province of the DRC. The location is situated in the Equateur Province on the shores of Lake Tumba in the north-western part of the country near the Republic of the Congo, a very remote and not easily accessible area of the country. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is closely working with other partners, including Médecins Sans Frontières, to ensure a strong response to support the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to prevent and control the spreading of the disease.
SAACI, AAXO and EXSA wants to make it abundantly clear that the risk pertaining to this latest outbreak to Southern Africa is very low. This is confirmed by the WHO, which stated that it does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to the DRC and that the risk for international spread, including Southern Africa is low. We would like to assure our international association partners and their members that it is business as usual with regards to the business events industry in Southern Africa.
SAACI CEO Rudi van der Vyver highlights the importance of always putting the needs and concerns of their association partners, at home as well as abroad, at the forefront. “As an association SAACI will never put our international partners, delegates and suppliers at risk in terms of industry business – proactive communication is vital, and we would like to assure all that we will continue to provide industry news and updates that reflects our commitment to excellence and professionalism in the business events industry in Southern Africa. We look forward, as always, to welcome you to our region!”
For further information, please contact:
Agnes Ntombela (SAACI)
Tel: +27 11 880 5883