12 June 2017

Sign Africa Breaks New Ground In Zambia

Chola Kangwa and Thandiwe Bluseke from Africast, Charnia Yapp, Africa Print organiser, Honorable Japhen Mwakalombe, Lusaka Province Minister and Dyelan Copeland, Africa Print organiser.
Sign Africa Breaks New Ground In Zambia
Sign Africa Breaks New Ground In Zambia
Sign Africa Breaks New Ground In Zambia

The first Sign Africa Expo outside of South Africa took place at the Mulungushi ICC on the 8-9 June in Lusaka, Zambia. Exhibitors welcomed 567 visitors from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Business opportunities in signage and print were showcased, with many affordable start-up solutions available. Visitors were also shown products to diversify and grow their signage and print businesses.

A visit from the Honorable Japhen Mwakalombe, Lusaka Province Minister, and representatives from the Government Printers was a significant step in forming relations with the Government of Zambia and the Expo organisers. He urged South African investors dealing in printing to invest in Zambia. His goal is to improve the quality of print and have all materials, including ballot papers, printed in Zambia.

Sign Africa Expo organiser, Dyelan Copeland said, 'Zambia has proved to be a good business environment for South African investors. This will be a region that we look forward to returning to with good relationships with local partners in place. The market in Zambia is ready to grow and is hungry for information and products. The exhibition was well supported and it was a pleasure to meet and deal with very friendly Zambian people. Exhibitors and organisers were overwhelmed with the turnout. We plan to host more exhibitions outside of South Africa.’

The Business Opportunities in Print and Signage Programme was a success, with presentations taking place free of charge, on both days of the expo at the respective companies' stands.

Modern Press & Stationers Limited kindly sponsored a networking event with the exhibitors at the Kingfisher Garden Court. The event was a success and underpinned by the warmth and hospitality of Zambia. Director of Operations, Amit Sikand, made the event possible and ensured that everyone was taken care of.

Sign Africa Exhibitor feedback:

Darryl Braithwaite from Graphix Supply World: 'I have never come across a group of clients that are so enthusiastic about having a show like this in their country. The response was unbelievable. The Zambian print and signage market are yearning for new technology, new methods of doing what they are currently doing, and for guidance from the people with the know-how. They were exceptionally impressed with all technology that was on display, and were even more impressed with the information given to them about the equipment, processes and how to achieve the end products in a more sustainable way. GSW was thoroughly impressed with the turn out, the enthusiasm, the desire of the Zambian people, as well as sales achieved at the show as well as pending orders. All in all, a great success and a wonderful show to have attended.'
Rikki Maizey, Maizey Plastics: ‘It was good. Our success cannot be measured by sales of machines, but for our long term view. We needed to be here and meet face to face with our customers that support Maizey Plastics from Zambia. The visitors were enthusiastic and hungry for products.’
Eva Guvaza from Penanel Zimbabwe said it was a good turnout: ‘There were many enquiries and promising business prospects. We had visitors from Zimbabwe - Zambia and Zimbabwe do a lot of business together. ‘
Jacob Machaba, Intamarket: ‘We were very happy with the expo and definitely want to be back. There is a huge demand.’
David McClenaghan, Vic Bay: ‘I have seen a lot of printers. My general impression is the industry is starved for product. It was good to get a feel of the market here. I am looking for a distributor to retail and distribute Vic Bay products.’
Rudi Bothma, Red Hand Sign Supplies: ‘It was unexpectedly good. The flow of visitors was busier than expected, with good quality leads. This was my first time to Zambia and I found it friendly and clean.’
Chris Paulet, Graficomp: ‘We had visitors from Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi on our stand. There was a lot of interest in the latex product offering and we received a couple of orders. It has been interesting with good leads and well worth it. A lot of visitors said they will be visiting FESPA Africa. When you walk around Lusaka, you feel safe and people are friendly and courteous.’
William Gibson, Falcon: ‘We were pleasantly surprised with the turnout. The visit from the Minister of Lusaka region added credence. It was well supported by the local industry. Zambian people are very friendly.’
Charl Ferreira, JG Electronics: ‘It was exceptionally good, there were a lot of visitors, lots of quality interest and our expectations have been exceeded.’
Bryan Poonsammy, Parrot Products: ‘This is the start of creating a brighter future for Zambia. Our expectations were well met and a lot better than what was expected. We had customers from DRC and Zimbabwe too.’
David Mwendapole, SignQuip: ‘This has to be an annual event. This will stimulate people to get into the printing industry. It's far better to see the machine working and get ideas in person. There are a lot of branding opportunities and with more machines, the prices in the industry will come down.’


Judges visited each stand at the expo and judged the stands according to criteria based on design, staff friendliness and professionalism. The stand winners and runners-up included:

Small floor space
First: Graficomp

Small shell scheme
First: Parrot Products
Second: Vic Bay
Runners-up: JG Electronics, Epson and Chemosol

Medium Floor Space
First: Graphix Supply World and Mimaki
Second: Red Hand Sign Supplies

Medium Shell Scheme
First: Maizey Plastics
Second: Intamarket

Large Floor Space
First: Roland