The Tokyo embassies of nine countries in southern Africa on Friday launched a 10-day promotional fair at a Tokyo hotel aimed at showcasing their region’s industry and culture.

The fair, titled SADC Promotion: Pulse of Africa, preludes an upcoming international conference on African development.

TICAD III will be held between Sept. 29 and Oct. 1 in Tokyo.

SADC stands for the 14-nation Southern Africa Development Community.

The ongoing event at the Hilton Tokyo in Shinjuku has been organized by the nine SADC member countries that have permanent diplomatic representation in Tokyo — Angola, Botswana, Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The promotional fair features a number of different events, including tourism as well as trade and investment seminars. It also comprises a range of diverse events during which African cuisine, music, jewelry and fashion will take center stage.

A number of African musicians, including South African jazz queen Sylvia Mdunyelwa and the popular Zambian singing duet Shatel, will be introduced at a gala dinner on Sept. 16 and other occasions.

Some of the proceeds will be used to help AIDS orphans within the SADC region, organizers said.

As an organization for regional economic development, the 23-year-old SADC aspires to create a framework for cooperation with Japan, according to Angolan Ambassador Victor Lima.

SADC has a market of about 250 million people and deals in important and valuable resources, such as oil reserves, diamonds, timber and ornamental rocks.

Lima, who concurrently heads the SADC Group in Tokyo, said the event will help boost the attractiveness of the SADC region and generate interest among prospective Japanese investors.

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