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Ecco Chamber

Fortnightly Italian news made in South Africa

 II edition October 2023

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Mal d'Africa
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Chamber's Note


It’s easy to take what we have on this continent for granted. Many of us have grown up seeing beautiful animals in the bush, heard languages alien to us in the most familiar way, and tasted the contrasting flavours of flame cooked food with sweet spices. Home sweet home. But maybe it’s something more than the familiar feeling of home that causes these sounds and sensations to intoxicate us; maybe our country, this continent, has a certain je ne sais quoi that isn’t lost on those who haven’t grown up here. 

Luckily enough, Italcham has empirical evidence that that special feeling may indeed have something objective to it. The phrase ‘mal d’africa’, translating to something like “the illness of Africa” or “Africa sickness” describes the intense and particular nostalgia those who have visited Africa feel about their time there, along with a deep and intense desire to return. While its earliest usage may have indeed been a negative one, describing the various plights of Africa throughout its history, it is now used to acknowledge the beauty of the continent and the experience it provides, which one can never forget. 

Of course, no good phrase can be as simple as sunshine and roses. Africa has faced a turbulent past and continues to recover from it today. Indeed, it is no coincidence that this beautiful phrase, and the beautiful sensation it describes, alludes to illness. But that’s the point, “there is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion, " as Edgar Allan Poe once said. 

The Chamber has proved a petri dish for this particular ailment, to put it slightly crudely, as the environment in which we find ourselves includes South Africans, Italo-South Africans, Italians who have been here for years and those who have only just arrived. A diverse group of people and yet, as rare as it is for people at the best of times, there is consensus about the sentiments inspired by the birthplace of humankind – there’s nothing quite like it. 

From tattoos to tears, those who come into contact with the highveld, the mountains, the water, the animals and the people, rarely leave unscathed by the mal d’africa. It is said though that the best cure is a good dose of coming back as often as one can… or never leaving. At least that’s what our most affected subjects tell us.

European Chambers' 2nd

Golf Day Cape Town



Practical information 

The second edition of the European Chambers’ Golf Day in Cape Town is an event that has become an annual feature for the local and international business community active in the Western Cape; 4 organizing Business Chambers, totaling a network of over 700 corporate members:

• Belgian Chamber of Commerce for Southern Africa (BCCSA)

• Business Ireland Southern Africa

• Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries

• Spanish Chamber of Commerce in South Africa

The venue is the Metropolitan Golf Club, one of the top golf courses in the Western Cape, with modern facilities and a comfortable venue to accommodate the guests.

Expected attendance of 64 players, plus the guests of the respective Business Chambers and a number of local and international VIPs.

Ample opportunity to network, before and after the golf competition, during the prize-giving ceremony, and at the buffet dinner.

The price for the four-ball is 4800 (excl. VAT), including snacks and dinner, drinks, and golf giveaway goodies.

For more information regarding these sponsoring packages, please get in touch with Patricia Miliakidis at

Sponsorship closing date 10 November 2023

Italy meets South Africa:
Focus on Machinery and Equipment for Mining


Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and SIMEST, in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in South AfricaItalian Trade Agency (ITA) Office in Johannesburg and thItalian-South African Chamber of Commerce (ITALCHAM), are organizing a webinar on October 25th, followed by online B2B meetings between Italian and South African companies active in the Machinery and Equipment for Mining sector.


The event showcases the latest developments in machinery and equipment for the  mining industry, fostering new collaboration opportunities between Italian and South African companies in the sector through B2B meetings.


The event will be broadcast at 10:30 and followed by B2B meetings on CDP Business Matching, the platform that facilitates business relationships between Italian and foreign companies.


Register for the event and become a part of CDP Business Matching.



Not yet registered with CDP Business Matching?

Register now and enter code CCIIS23 to get access to premium features

Registration to the platform and participation in the event are totally free of charge


For assistance write to 

or contact Customer Service at 800.020.030



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Focus group recap:
The Value of the Italian Brand in the World
Made in Italy in South Africa

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On 5 October ITALCHAM held, together with Unioncamere, Assocamerestero and The European House – Ambrosetti, a focus group on the value of the Italian Brand abroad. The focus group included multiple stakeholders from various sectors where Italian products experience success in South Africa.


The purpose of the focus group was to understand the commercial value attributed to the "Made in Italy" in South Africa.


The topics discussed during the focus group were on the one hand, the identification of the distinctive characteristics of Italian products most appreciated by South African consumers and, on the other hand, how Italian Institutions can improve the promotion of Italian products in South Africa.


According to the participants, quality, attention to detail, authenticity and uniqueness are the characteristics that reward Made in Italy products abroad. Italian products also enjoy a solid reputation in South Africa. For all these factors, consumers who can afford it are willing to pay more for an Italian product.


However, according to Pedro Estrada Belli (Vinotria, wine importer) and other participants, local products are great competitors for imported Italian products. For this reason, all sectors should adopt similar strategies and communicate as a group and not individually. it is important, therefore, that there is synergy between the different sectors of the Made in Italy.

Our NEW Directory 
2023/24 is Out!

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Click here to read our New Annual Directory!



ItalCham is currently sourcing applications to set up a BUYER DELEGATION for SIGEP - 45th International Trade Show of Artisan Gelato, Pastry, Bakery and the Coffee World (20-24 January 2024 - Rimini Expo Centre, Italy).


SIGEP is the world's leading B2B event to discover the latest news, innovations and trends in the Dessert and Coffee Food Service Industry: raw materials and ingredients, machinery and equipment, furnishings, packaging and services.

A unique meeting place for dialogue with companies and professionals to discuss industry scenarios and an opportunity for business, networking, professional updating and sharing for the following sectors:


  • GELATO: SIGEP is the only trade show in the world featuring the entire supply chain of Artisan Gelato.

  • PASTRY: the world's top event for the entire supply chain of the Artisan Pastry business.

  • CHOCOLATE: the only world-class industry expo showcasing excellence throughout the Artisan Chocolate supply chain.

  • COFFEE: the entire coffee supply chain showcased in a not to be missed event for the industry.

  • BAKERY: the world excellence of raw materials and semi-finished products, combined with the innovations of the best technologies and the latest trends in Italian-style premises formats.



• 3 nights for 1 buyer per company in a hotel on B&B treatment

  Arrival date: Monday 22nd Jan 2024

  Departure date: Thursday 25th Jan 2024

• transfer from Bologna airport to the hotel and vice versa;

• daily transfer from the hotel to the expo and vice versa;

• free admission ticket to the expo;

• buffet lunch at the expo.


Please note: airplane ticket to be paid by the buyer.



• to follow the scheduled 30-minutes appointments agenda with SIGEP exhibitors for the duration of one day (if you have not reached 10  appointments with the online “My Agenda by IEG” between December 4th and January 16th, you will add others directly at the expo);

• to deliver the complete agenda with signatures at the end of the day of meetings;

• to fill in the online questionnaire at the end of the meetings;

• to return to the fair the following day to visit other companies of interest to them.

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Please note:

- the company representative who will visit SIGEP must be a decision maker;

- the e-mail address must be the direct address of the buyer;

- the activities selected must match the company profile;

For further information please send an e-mail to

Alla prossima!


Monday, 30 October from 17.30 to 19.00




Società Dante Alighieri Cape Town, in collaboration with COM.IT.ES of the Western Cape, invites you to the launch of The Italian Diaspora in South Africa written by Maria Chiara Marchetti-Mercer and Anita Virga, and published by Routledge Focus.

The book takes you on a journey through the roots of Italian immigration into South Africa, and the feelings of nostalgia, identity and belonging in second and third generation Italians. 

You will have a chance to meet the authors in person:
Maria Chiara Marchetti-Mercer, Professor of Psychology at the School of Human & Community Development, University of the Witwatersrand.

Anita Virga, Associate Professor in the Italian Studies Department at the School of Literature, Language and Media, University of the Witwatersrand. 

The book launch will take place at Società Dante Alighieri Cape Town, 137 Hatfield Street - Gardens, Cape Town at 17:30 on Monday, 30 October. Seats are limited so be sure to book your spot. The presentation will unfold in English and is free of charge.


To RSVP please fill out this online form. Each form admits one person, should you wish to bring a plus one they will be required to fill out their own form. 


We look forward to seeing you there!

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Chamber's Note
Upcoming Events
Golf Day Cape Town
Italy meets South Afria
Focus Group
New Directory
Book Launch
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