EN – Summary - 12. Africa Expo Budapest - 22-25 February 2024!


On 23 February 2024, at the beginning of the opening ceremony, which started at 11 am, Tahinasoa and Pimenta set the mood with an energetic combination of Malagasy (Madagascar) dances. The rhythmic music and spectacular show attracted a large crowd to the Expo area.




In his welcome speech, Csaba Mezei, President of HAND Association, said that NGOs are inevitable actors in development because of their specificity in certain development sectors. He added that the involvement of CSOs and government support in International Development is improving, but there are areas where further progress, a more strategic approach, greater predictability and transparency are needed.





In his speech, France Mutombo Tshimuanga, President of the Foundation for Africa and Honorary Consul of the Democratic Republic of Congo, highlighted that the 12th edition of the Expo as an example of a sustainable event. He recalled that the founder, Ildikó Szilasi, has been committed to Africa since  a very young age. He also added that the main organiser is the "tree", and the yearly fruit of this tree is the annually organised Africa Expo each year.




Ildikó Szilasi, CEO of Travel to Africa Tour Operator and founder of Africa Expo, added that if she is the tree, then the Congolese Honorary Consul is the root, as she started to learn about Africa with him as a volunteer 22 years ago. More than that, 20 years ago she first set foot on the African land of Congo together with him. The organiser wished visitors to the expo in the coming days to find something inspiring, innovative and enlightening at the 22 exhibitors' stands, and to look at Africa as a partner and continent of the future. Ildikó Szilasi also thanked the sponsors and partners for their contribution to this year's event: in particular the HAND Association, the European Union and the European Presidency Project. The HUNGEXPO Budapest Congress and Exhibition Centre and the Travel+ Exhibition. Tht travel partner Travel to Africa Tour Operator and our the alirline partner Ethiopian Airlines. The coffee partner of the expo, EthiCoffee Ltd. and the Africa Research Centre at the University of Pécs.   Last but not least, she thanked all the exhibitors, volunteers and helpers who contributed to realization of the 12th Africa Expo Budapest.




The Professional Programme and Conference of the Africa Expo, which was also held on 23 February 2024 with the support and organisation of the HAND Association, attracted many colleagues, experts and interested visitors to room 105 of Pavilion A. The presentations were useful and the question and answer sessions were forward-looking. The conference covered the following topics:

DISCUSSION - Government support to NGOs, partnership between government and NGOs in international development and humanitarian activities
Hungary Helps Agency's current projects in Africa
NEFE and humanitarian action in Africa - Modern trends, progressive solutions, innovative approaches


During the discussion at the conference, Péter Kovács-Pifka, CEO of Hungary Helps Agency, said that great result have been achieved by supporting the programmes of established NGOs. Such exemplary good stories include the Foundation for Africa's support to College Othniel in Kinshasa (Congo), or the training of women rangers in Kenya initiated by the Africa Ranger Association. These good examples, exemplary initiatives for whole societies, can also contribute to the development of openness and the desire to help in Hungarian youth under the auspices of global education.


Zsófia Elek, Head of the Hungary Helps Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, added that since Hungarian taxpayers' money is being spent, it is extremely important to know where and for what every penny is spent. On the subject of Hungarian NGOs working in Africa, he said that even with little money, it is possible to do amazingly good projects. However, she also pointed out that it is not enough to have a good idea, project management, legal and financial knowledge is also needed for an NGO to be successful.