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ApiTrade Africa to hold the 1st African Apiculture Media Symposium and Congress

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In a bid to equip and engage African media and journalists to promote the multi-dimensional nature of honeybee industry using the language of trade, environmental conservation, and poverty eradication, medicinal use of bee products, food security and climate change, among other attributes of the industry, ApiTrade Africa together with Beekeepers Association of Zimbabwe, Media for Nature and the Government of Zimbabwe will conduct the first ever targeted media symposium to strengthen the promotion of the industry under the theme “Let the conversation Bee-gin…and Grow”.

This theme reiterates the intention of the industry to partner with the media (print, electronic and social) to ‘brand’ itself. Beekeeping is understood in any language and thus we intend to make people begin to talk about all aspects of the industry and its benefits to the environment, nutrition, medicinal value, poverty reduction, food security, economic empowerment and wealth creation. These are values and benefits that go beyond the event.

This undertaking will equip and engage the media houses to collate and report the right information in a 2-way fashion. The media is very powerful and impacts the behaviour of the market. The media is further influential in promoting good practices for beekeeping policies and technologies to ensure that there is increased productivity and quality of products produced for the market. The media will be facilitated to participate in the 4th edition of All-African Honeybee event, ApiExpo Africa 2014, taking place at Harare International Conference Centre, Zimbabwe from October 6th to 11th 2014. In fact, the media event, The 1st African Apiculture Media Symposium, will be a precursor to ApiExpo Africa 2014 and will run from 4th to 5th October 2014 at Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).

The plan is to train and provide exposure to at least 50 (fifty) media practitioners from at least 10 African countries as a means of increasing the visibility of the honeybee industry and propagating good practices in the honeybee production and marketing chains, in which there are millions of small holder bee farmers involved, linked directly to the export, regional and domestic markets. In Ethiopia alone, 1.8 million people are directly linked to the production, processing and marketing chains of the honeybee industry. The production and marketing of honey and beeswax, the two major bee products, there has a great potential to contribute to the livelihoods of a significant fraction of rural populations and for widening Africa’s export base.


Discussions within the region in the past couple of years have revealed that the major common challenge facing the honeybee industry is the lack of proper information, which has resulted into improperly organized marketing chains for the domestic, regional and export markets. The SMES involved in exporting African honey and beeswax particularly face problems related to recognition of their products in the market. In the EU, the preferred export market for African honey and beeswax exporters, there is a general negative (and wrong) perception that African honey and beeswax are smoky, dirty and of inferior quality because the harvesting and handling processes are rudimentary. This is further compounded by the fact that all the European importers in Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany and Switzerland, except Tropical Forest Products Ltd of United Kingdom, do not market the products appropriately. They use the products to blend other products and in confectioneries and do not say anything uniquely positive of the African honey and beeswax – they are shy to relate their products to Africa.

Therefore, this engagement comes at just about the right time. A large pool of African journalists is now professionally trained; these media practitioners serve their countries and communities in many ways, through information, education and entertainment. African journalists and media practitioners who wish to make a legitimate report on development issues require an informed view to examine them. In this case, journalists have a task to understand the multi-faceted nature of apiculture reporting and to report on the impact of apiculture on both the development process and environment in Africa.

Our strategy is to re-tool, empower and use the already existing journalists and media houses as a catalyst to (as a result of positive reporting) cause significant influence at different levels; farm level (bee farmers), input suppliers / manufacturers, SMES / processors / exporters, policy makers and markets (buyers and consumers/users).

About twenty (20) local (Zimbabwe) journalists from different disciplines (print, radio, TV, electronic, multimedia and social) will participate in this understanding while thirty (30) foreign journalists (Africa, Europe, America and Asia) will also be invited to the symposium. The latter will be expected to appreciate the right perspectives of the honeybee industry in Africa and also build a good network with African journalists, for the sole purpose of promoting the interest of the industry.

Click here, to download registration froms to this symposium. Send filled forms to [email protected] and copy [email protected]

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