Yesterday we shared a post on our facebook page regarding the status of TBEX Africa. I am copying it below along with a question from Cameron Seagle and our reply to Cameron.
In light of recent events, many people are wondering about the status of TBEX Zimbabwe.
We sent an email two weeks ago to everyone who had already registered for the conference, to let them know we were postponing the event at the request of our friends at Zimbabwe Tourism. They told us they had a second round of government elections scheduled for next July, which would conflict with the TBEX event. We agreed with them that– for safety reasons, more than anything else– July of 2018 would not be a good time for us to have an event there.
We wanted to notify people who had registered for our event first, before saying anything publicly. We were planning to make an official announcement about postponing the Zimbabwe conference next week, then the military intervention happened yesterday. Our first concern was to ensure that the tourism staff and others we had met in Zimbabwe were safe, before we made any public comment about our conference. Please join us in sending thoughts and prayers for their safety and for the people of Zimbabwe.
The safety of our attendees comes above all other concerns. There is absolutely no way we would produce an event if we thought it would put any TBEX attendee in danger. As for questions about whether the conference will be postponed until 2019, we cannot make a final decision on this matter until after the current situation in Zimbabwe is fully resolved. Only then will we know if TBEX in Zimbabwe will be safe for all attendees.
We promise to update you as soon as we have further information. In the meantime, look for a forthcoming announcement on an exciting destination for the next TBEX Europe!
Cameron Seagle The people of Zimbabwe are wonderful and I do wish them safety and peace. However, what was the thought process of choosing Harare in the first place? It never seemed like a good idea. These elections dates are not anything new.
Happy to share our reasoning behind the decision.
To be honest, when the Zim tourist authority first approached us our immediate reaction was “no way”. We had not heard anything but bad news about the country. But where TBEX goes isn’t about our personal feelings. It is about the community as a whole.
So we asked our Conference Director Shane Dallas who lives in Kenya. We asked other TBEX’ers who have been there and know Africa well. We asked people who live or have lived in Zim. It was unanimous support for producing this event.
The consistent feedback was that Zim was safe, the people are welcoming and the country is incredibly beautiful with many unique sights, and experiences to offer. Very importantly people told us Zim was absolutely representative of sub Sarahan Africa.
Over 100 people registered to attend this event in less than two months which far exceeded our expectations. The enthusiasm from the community planning to attend was and still is very high.
We hope that the political situation in the country stabilizes and we can be confident that it would be a safe environment for our attendees. The reports we have seen so far seem to show very little violence and that is good for the people of Zimbabwe. It is far too soon to know what will happen in the coming days and months.
I hope Salome Munamato Chari and others living there will continue to keep us all informed on what is happening.
We will keep the people of Zimbabwe in our thoughts and prayers and hope that you will join us in doing so.