Attendees will get the chance to network with over 100 local and international manufacturers and thousands of buyers at the 6th edition of the trade fair, which is aimed to promote the growth of small-medium size businesses, increase trade between African countries and improve on standards within the industry as a whole.
The overarching theme this year is a focus on global and local trends, technological optimisation and trade flow agreements that will be brought to life by industry expert speakers. Part of this will focus on educating attendees on ways in which trade can be made easier between countries in Africa.
The South African subsidiary of global trade fair company Messe Frankfurt is the organiser of the event, after taking over the reins from Leaders in Trade Exhibitions late last year.
The 2-day conference takes place alongside the exhibition that features industry suppliers from South Africa, Mauritius, Lesotho, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.
"With a line-up of over 20 high-calibre speakers and a host of local and international exhibitors, Source Africa is the ideal platform for buyers, sourcing managers, technologists and retailers to benefit and learn from each other through interactive discussions and networking opportunities," says Kathryn Frew, show director of Source Africa.
Keynote addresses of the conference include WGSN – trend partners for Source Africa, providing an authoritative view on tomorrow based on trend intelligence, retail analytics and consumer insights. Sara Maggioni, the director of retail and buying, will deliver the trend keynote that will provide the ultimate checklist of the season's key messages, items, colours, fabrics and print direction for womenswear and menswear.
Political and economic futurist Daniel Silke will also deliver a keynote which will provide a macro-economic and social trend overview of the African continent.
Other speakers confirmed for the 2018 event include: Robert Ritson, managing director of Berzacks Brothers; Alberto Carolini, sales manager from UL Consumer & Retail Services; Clay Hickson, vice president of strategy & business development at WRAP in the U.S. and Pieter de Beer, senior industry development manager at the Industrial Development Council.
Day 1 commences with a panel discussion analysing 'Online vs Traditional vs Omni-channels', a session that unpacks retail platforms and finding the right balance between online and traditional platforms to target your consumer market. Other topics to be discussed include: Assisting Creative Entrepreneurs, Investment Opportunities, Trade Agreements between African countries and insights on the availability of funding to assist industry development.
The conference programme is open for all exhibitors and visitors. "In an industry that is evolving faster than we know, it’s important to have a well-crafted agenda with a variety of relevant topics that allows attendees to take away knowledge on the latest developments, innovations and trends," adds Frew.
A new initiative this year is the Source Africa Young Designers Competition. Source Africa has collaborated with WGSN to find the best young designers in the Western Cape, who will design a single, retail ready, women's wear look. The competition is open to final year students and recent fashion graduates who studied at accredited fashion colleges in the Western Cape. Selected designers will have their garments showcased by way of a fashion show, where a judging panel will select finalists to fight it out on the runway for the title of Source Africa Young Designer of the Year.
In another first, the Source Africa Graduate Showcase in collaboration with the Cape Town Fashion Council will serve as a platform for students to network whilst presenting their designs to the broader industry.
For the full conference agenda and speaker list, and to register for your free pass, visit the Source Africa website.