This month we get to know better Niger Convention Agency
What was your motivation to join ICCA?
As an entity involved in the organisation of international events and destination’s promotion, it is essential for ANEC to be part of an association that leads the sector at a global level. Joining ICCA will give ANEC the credibility and visibility necessary to achieve its objectives and boost its performance. Furthermore, it is beneficial for our organisation to connect and exchange with the sector’s professionals.
Tell us your story. How did ANEC get started?
Niger hosts several regional and international events every year. At each event, a committee gets set up. Unfortunately, these committees are composed in most cases of people who do not have the required expertise and have other day-to-day responsibilities. This situation results in high costs with sometimes limited quality and lost opportunities.
In addition, the events record no statistics, hence the difficulty of measuring the impact and the economic benefits of these events for Niger.
This situation excludes the country from reporting the MICE outcome, which is important in the countries’ economies that have taken appropriate measures.
It has been noticed that event management requires strong coordination and involvement of the State to ensure a professional organisation that meets the required standards.
To benefit from the growing MICE industry, the Government decided, on 10 January 2020, to create the Niger Convention Agency (ANEC)
What sets ANEC apart?
ANEC is a transversal organisation that can intervene at all stages of event organisation. We work with policymakers to improve the legislation in all the aspects that impact the MICE industry. We also attract investors to develop the sector. We own our conference centres and a car fleet of over 100 vehicles.
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
From 27 to 28 November 2020, in the middle of the COVID pandemic, ANEC successfully organised the 47th session of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (CMFA) of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The participants expressed their appreciation and gratitude to Niger people and authorities, particularly, the President of the Republic Issoufou Mahamadou, “for their warm hospitality and the remarkable organisation of the conference”.
What can we expect to see from ANEC in the future?
ANEC will strive to raise Niger’s visibility and attract more conferences in Niger. You can expect ANEC to positively impact the number of business tourists that the country will host in the upcoming years. ANEC will also continue its mission to bring more investors to the MICE industry. That means more investments in hotels and other projects to more attractive cities/infrastructures. You can also expect ANEC to influence the policies to bring more airline companies to Niger and reduce the paperwork required to enter Niger.
Which trends do you see in the Association Meetings?
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we can expect in-person association meetings to be rarer but of greater quality. Additionally, the next meeting will probably bring new innovations for those not attending physically to have the best experience from the comfort of their homes.
We also expect the Association meetings to focus more on how to avoid and handle a pandemic. More sessions will be dedicated to health and safety and how to protect our members in such cases.
What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing currently?
Currently, our activities are impacted by the ongoing COVID pandemic with more virtual events and several cancelled events.
Another challenge is the low awareness of our destination, which demands huge investment in marketing campaigns.