Almost two years after it shut down its operations in Kenya, the country’s premier IT events and conferences organizer AITEC Africa has seemingly decided to come back to the scene via a new identity.
The Facebook page formerly run by the AITEC’s team has this morning – Monday June 18, 2018 – been rebranded to Emerald Africa, describing itself as a firm whose “core business has been focused on Event management, Exhibitions logistic services, Summits, Conferences, Corporate events, Interior Bespoke design for residential and commercial property, Interior design as well as offering Event coverage with 360 virtue Videos and Photography.”
The Emerald Africa team adds that it’s “passionate and driven towards empowering Africa’s exhibition logistic service community by offering our clients a seamless and timely execution of collaborates by being responsive, accountable and creative” with a “goal is to seamlessly fuse and execute diverse styles to create and reflect each client’s individual needs.”
When it comes to Twitter, it however seems that Emerald has not yet decided whether to inherit AITEC Africa’s handle – @aitecafrica which was last updated in late November 2016 – or set up its own account.
The same goes for the website as Emerald Africa has picked http://emeraldafrica.co.ke/ as its URL which is currently under construction as can be seen from the screenshot below.
Emerald Africa’s office premises are not listed online with the company only providing a mobile phone number and general email address for those keen to contact them.
AITEC Africa closed down its operations in Kenya in late 2016 after 30 years of being in the IT exhibition and conferences business after what sources said were tax-related issues leading to a run in with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
The IT conference organiser was allegedly not paying tax (we assume this to be 30% corporate tax) in Kenya, claiming that it is taxed in its UK-based headquarters and paying the same in Kenya would be a case of double taxation. It was claimed KRA contacted the UK’s tax authorities to clarify and confirm if this is true, Kenya’s tax regulator was instead informed by its UK counterpart that this was not the case, and told to go back to AITEC and claim the tax. It is after this that the firm decided to shut down its Kenya office after seemingly running out of options.
Since then, the firm’s website – aitecafrica.com – redirects to Changamka Microhealth, meaning that the domain has not been renewed.
Founded by Sean Moroney in 1987, AITEC Africa held its first exhibition and conference in Harare in 1990 at a time when the continent’s ICT sector was in its infancy.
From then, the firm then diversified its product offering, venturing into ICT publishing (Computers in Africa magazine) and training.
AITEC would later hold ICT events in various African countries, including Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The firm’s events featured an expo – where exhibitors showcased their products and solutions to attendees – and a workshop where speakers shared insights on various industry trends and issues.
Sean Moroney, AITEC Africa’s founder, was born in South Africa in 1952. He ventured into publishing as a student journalist and became editor of Wits Student, an anti-apartheid publication. He was later appointed Executive Editor of the Africa Contemporary Record in London, a position he held for four years. He then became editor of African Business magazine, based in London, and after two years was promoted to the position of Assistant Publisher for the IC Publications Group, responsible for New African, Middle East and African Business magazines. In 1987 he formed his own company and launched Market South East, a business newsletter covering Eastern and Southern Africa. He would later found Computers in Africa magazine.