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Ecco Chamber

Fortnightly Italian news made in South Africa

 I edition November 2023

Arte Povera
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Chamber's Note


Arte Povera is an exhibition taking place in Johannesburg which opened on the 31st of October 2023. Conceived by the Consulate General of Italy in order to further develop of a bridge between South Africa and Italy. The name comes from that of an influential art movement originating in Italy during the late 1960s, marked a significant departure from traditional art forms. Its name, translating to “poor art,” underscores its foundational ethos: the use of commonplace or “poor” materials. This movement was a reaction against the commercialization and elitism in the art world, emphasizing a return to basic, often organic materials. It was characterized by the use of everyday objects such as soil, rocks, paper, rope, and industrial debris. This approach was not just a stylistic choice but a profound commentary on society, economy, and culture. To find out more about this event be sure to look at the Events section of this newsletter.


This kind of art strikes a chord with our own South Africa: there are noticeable parallels, particularly in the use of materials and the exploration of socio-political themes. South African artists have historically engaged with the materials at hand, often in the context of political struggle and social commentary. This is evident in the work of artists like William Kentridge and Jane Alexander, who utilize everyday materials to create works that speak to the country’s complex history and socio-political issues. Like Arte Povera, South African art often serves as a critique of and response to prevailing socio-economic conditions, using accessible materials to make powerful statements about identity, resistance, and history.


Both movements share a tendency to employ non-traditional materials and techniques to explore and comment on the socio-political environment. This approach inherently challenges the notion of art as a high-end, exclusive commodity, making it more accessible and relevant to the general public. Furthermore, the use of everyday materials in both Arte Povera and South African art can be seen as a form of sustainability, where recycling and repurposing materials serve both an artistic and an ecological function.


The concept of sustainability in art, particularly as seen in Arte Povera, is another crucial aspect. This movement’s use of natural and recycled materials was, perhaps inadvertently, a precursor to the modern sustainable art movement. By using materials that were readily available and often discarded, these artists were making a statement about consumption and waste in the modern world. This practice is increasingly relevant in today’s context, where sustainability and environmental consciousness are major concerns. Contemporary artists around the world, drawing inspiration from movements like Arte Povera, are increasingly focusing on sustainable practices, using recycled materials and highlighting environmental issues through their work.


This happens to coincide with another event promoted by the Chamber in this newsletter: Ecomondo - an expo which brings delegates together to talk about sustainability and green technology. Ecomondo is an annual exposition that offers delegates a wide range of seminars, conferences and events.  


The richness of art comes not from its monetary value, but from its ability to hold a mirror up to society, or better yet, to present to us a society worth striving for economically, socially and environmentally. The Chamber looks forward to presenting opportunities to its members to engage in such a vision through the medium of art and discussion. The connections between art, sustainability, South Africa and Italy are anything but arbitrary. This edition of Ecco Chamber provides its reader with an insight into each one of the events we are promoting, as well as how they connect to one another.

European Chambers' 2nd

Golf Day Cape Town


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Practical information 

The Golf Day is sold out but there is still availability to sponsor a hole.

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 24 November 2023

Recap of
Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue


Between 9 and 10 November 2023 ItalCham participated together with important South African, African and European leaders in the 10th "Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue". On this occasion, the importance of strategic economic relations was discussed as well as the potential investment prospects and partnerships in various sectors. The establishment of the "TEHA Africa" ​​company was also celebrated.


The event was organized by The European House - Ambrosetti (no. 1 private Think Tank in Italy, fourth in Europe and among the top 20 globally), in collaboration with the province of Gauteng, with the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency and with a selection of international public and private stakeholders, including CLN-MA, Danieli, DHL Express, Aspen Pharmacare, Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone, ICE, Brand SA and Italtile.


In addition to the 200 CEOs who participated, among the speakers were: Panyaza Lesufi (Premier, Gauteng), Ronald Lamola (Minister of Justice, South Africa), Trevor Manuel (President, Old Mutual), Nhlanhla Nene (President, Thebe ), Enrico Letta (former Prime Minister of the Italian Government; EU Rapporteur on the future of the single market), Godfrey Mutizwa (Chief Editor, CNBC Africa), Nomatemba Tambo (Trustee, Oliver Tambo Foundation), Hennie Heymans (CEO, DHL Express Sub- Saharan Africa), Saki Zamxaka (CEO, Gauteng Growth and Development Agency), Peya Mushelenga (Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Namibia), Lammie Griesel (CEO, Spiro Greens), Stanley Steenkamp (CEO Africa, Veolia), Danilo Dreolini (CEO Africa, Danieli), Stavros Nicolaou (Senior Trade Executive, Aspen Pharmacare), Lehlogonolo Masoga (CEO, Musina Makhado Special Economic Zone), Henk van der Merwe (Regional Leader, MA Automotive).


Some of the topics that were covered in the 2023 agenda are:

-  The geopolitical, commercial and investment prospects in Africa

-  CEOs' perspective on African business

-  Prospects and development of agro-industry in SADC

-  Energy transition and raw materials

-  South Africa's future: 30 years of democracy and beyond


This edition of the Southern Africa Europe CEO Dialogue was enriched by side events, including those on:

-  Doing business in Gauteng

-  Young leaders today: how to promote entrepreneurship to foster growth

-  High-level bilateral meetings


Recap of


Between 8 and 9 November 2023 ItalCham participated together with our buyers Muvigo Africa Solutions, East4 Holdings, Carbon Neutral Energy Systems, Chemical Brothers Pty Ltd, Flex-O-Pack Pty Ltd and Marope Group at ECOMONDO, the leading expo in Europe for technologies, services and industrial solutions in the green and circular economy sectors.

Below follows a summary of the official press release from ECOMONDO.


Italian Exhibition Group's international circular economy exhibition closed its 26th edition with 15% more attendance than in 2022 (a figure that is even more significant since, last year, it took place at the same time as KEY Energy Transition Expo, which has now earned its own calendar slot). 150,000 square metres for more than 1,500 exhibiting brands, up 10% compared to last year, for four extremely intense days of business and networking.  Digital participation through the b2b GreentechInsights platform was also greater, with 600,000 exhibitor profile viewings. Excellent media coverage: + 10% more that the over 500 million contacts in 2022 for one of the highest impacts ever on Italian and international public opinion.


From regenerative bio-economy to blue economy, from waste as a resource to soil restoration, from bioenergy to environmental monitoring: the largest edition in 26 years gave a clear signal: circularity technologies are ready to regenerate ecosystems and are profitable when combined with decarbonisation-oriented policies. Also on show were the latest environmentally friendly vehicles in the biennial SAL.VE exhibition organised with ANFIA. Besides the content on display in the Rimini Expo Centre halls, green is also confirmed as profitable for the economy in the report “The economy of tomorrow: a decarbonised, circular and regenerative green economy” presented at the opening of the States General of the Green Economy 2023. Benefits of 689 billion euros over a ten-year period are estimated against cumulative costs of 136.7 billion from the “Fit for 55” European decarbonisation regulatory package alone.


Ecomondo’s foreign visitors come from an increasing number of countries, mainly from the Euro-Mediterranean area, with Spain, Germany, Greece, Serbia, Egypt and Tunisia in the lead, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa. Over 630 international foreign operators were hosted thanks to the collaboration of ITA – Italian Trade Agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, IEG's global network of regional advisors and also the Emilia-Romagna Region, particularly for the Blue Economy sector, coming from North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkan area, Latin America, North America, India and the Middle East, generating and overall total of 2,700 business matchings.


Start-ups and Scale-ups, essential ingredients at Ecomondo. This year, an award named after Lorenzo Cagnoni was launched for consolidated and emerging innovators in the ecosystem of Italian green companies. The podium was taken by Eco Reciclyng from Viterbo, HBI from Treviso, and the global brand AMP Robotics while the three winning start-ups were 3Bee from Milan, Oxoco from Bari and Mixcycling from Vicenza. The companies and public administrations most committed to eco-innovation were honoured with the Sustainable Development Award promoted by the Sustainable Development Foundation and Ecomondo.

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KEY 2024
The Energy Transition Expo
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• Check in: Tuesday 27th Feb 2024

  Check out: Friday 1 March 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 is not covered and must be paid by the applicant.

Deadline for application is 29 November 2023

KEY - The Energy Transition Expo, Europe’s leading show dedicated to technlogies, services, integrated solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energies in Italy and the Mediterranean basin, puts the spotlight on the acceleration of energy and climate policies and the opportunities opening up in the market. 

It is an opportunity to present technological innovations and financial challenges in a setting that will combine an ever larger area for exhibitors and a range of events with a growing international presence. 

KEY provides a complete overview of the world of energy transition, showcasing entities, associations, organisations, utilities, companies and start-ups contributing to the energy transition in various fields:










Visitors come to KEY to identify new business partners and suppliers (80%), to find out about innovations, new products and cutting edge technical solutions (85%)*.

Reasons to attend K.EY include:

  • Achieve your economic and growth goals by sourcing from new national and international markets.

  • Become part of an active and relevant community in the energy transition sector, multiplying training and networking opportunities.

  • Find exposure to cutting-edge brands in the energy transition space and ensure your company is exposed to the international context, to new suppliers and other new contacts, presenting innovations and projects to the market..

  • Learning about trends, projects, technologies, news, funding, regulations and best practices to support the energetic transition, while maintaining an international outlook.

Job Opportunities

There are two new job vacancies on the SMILE Job Portal:

You will find where to apply on the above link.

You will find where to apply on the above link.

View these and other job vacancies on the SMILE website via this link - CLICK HERE

If you are currently hiring, please take a look at SMILE vetted candidates HERE



Alla prossima!

Chamber's Note
Upcoming Events
Golf Day Cape Town
Recap of Ecomondo
Job opportunities
KEY 2024
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