This week as I was in Kasama to have Thanksgiving dinner, I also went to the Northern Province Tourism & Investment Expo. This is an event being held in tandem with the centenary commemoration taking place in Mbala to mark 100 years since the end of WWI in Africa.
I was pretty excited to go to the expo to see what all they had. I couldn’t really muster up any enthusiasm from anyone else to go, but I managed to drag my friend Noah there. He’s glad he went! I had high hopes for the expo because I had high hopes for Northern Province; this expo is supposed to attract a lot of development and investment to the province so I was rooting for its success. Frankly I was worried it was going to be a slightly larger district show, with booths made out of grass and sticks and people displaying beans. Many people did display beans but the whole expo was really big and really amazing.
At the expo there were several very large tents filled with booths like any other expo you would go to. There was a healthy mix of different things being displayed. In the photo above are the different district booths, where different districts showed off their wares. I was surprised to find out there are gold deposits in Northern Province, and one booth had a demonstration of traditional salt making processes. There was locally processed palm oil and other agricultural products (those beans) and it was cool to see how much stuff is up here.
Besides booths for the district, there were booths for different business that operate up here in Northern. Noah and I, both being RAP volunteers, were interested in a lot of the aquaculture stuff. Above is a picture of a mobile hatchery that was at a booth manned by one of our RAP technical instructors, so that was cool. Everyone at the expo was pretty enthusiastic about talking to us, despite just being two schmucks wandering around. We got whole in-depth explanations of how the local water purification process works from the Chambeshi Water & Sewage Company, and the government’s Weights & Measurement and Consumer Protection Bureaus gave us run-downs of everything they do.
A booth from the Ministry of Tourism & Arts demonstrating the wildlife of Northern and showing the seized possessions of poachers.
Walking around the expo we picked up a lot of literature people were excited to hand us, and we both bought some really sweet matching shirts from the Ministry of Tourism booth. I’m excited to wear it to the Centenary Celebration. I think the expo did a really great job of showing all the tourism and investment opportunities here in Northern, and the organizers must have worked really hard to make sure the thing went off so well. I really hope it brings a lot of investment to this province, which could really use it. But the opportunities are here!