The East 3 Route Initiative was created as a vehicle for cross-border development that would ensure economic growth and job creation for all three countries. The Route was conceptualised taking into account the needs of each region and the opportunities for product development that would impact positively on, as well as leave a lasting legacy for the communities through which the expedition passed.
Since its inception in 2011, the East 3 Route has seen increased and widespread coverage by local and international media. South Africa’s major media print, radio and television networks as well as international networks such as French TV have participated in the expedition and provided coverage. Participation has been consistently oversubscribed in the first two years and the same is anticipated for 2013. Tourism and community projects along the route have received significant exposure and preliminary stakeholder engagements with partners in the three countries and with product developers and owners along the route suggest that this will continue to grow.
It was recognised that a platform that focused on the promotion of investment in the tourism projects in the cross-border areas needed to be focused upon and brought to the fore. The East 3 Route Investment Conference 2012 was the result. A need to showcase related existing products and opportunities in the tourism value chain contributed to a further evolution of the investment platform into the East 3 Route Investment Seminar and Exhibition 2013.
A notable success emerging as a direct result of the East 3 Route Investment Conference 2013 is an investment of R800m with job creation of 200 direct jobs in an agro-processing plant in Umbilo, Durban. Bakhresa SA has purchased an existing milling facility (Union Mills) valued at R130m. The plant will initially produce wheat flour.
Bakhresa Group is one of the leading Industrial Houses in Tanzania, East Africa. Started with a small restaurant in Dar Es' Salaam, Tanzania, in the mid seventies, the company has emerged as one of the prominent family owned business groups in the region. The Group has its operations in Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi and in Mozambique with plans to grow into other countries. The Group now boasts of a turnover of more than Six Hundred Million United States Dollars and is a proud employer of more than five thousand employees associated directly.