The first Women’s International Trade Fair (SIFEM) was established in 1989 in the Togolese capital, Lome. The project was founded by a consortium of local prominent business men, both visionary and committed, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Togo and a group of business women in the country, to support women’s initiative on a global scale. Fifty countries, five hundred exhibitors and over two hundred thousand buyers and sellers participated in the event which was crowned with resounding success.
In addition to the business enterprise, this maiden edition of SIFEM hosted the following events : lectures on issues of historical society and women’s socio economic and trade concerns, an exhibition of culinary art accompanied by tasting of gastronomic specialties of participating countries, display and presentation of forty hairstyles, a concert featuring singers from Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Benin, a fashion show with colorful original clothing creations in traditional fabrics whose originality amazed the audience, a gala closing the fair during which exhibitors, organizers, high-ranking personalities and business leaders gathered together to celebrate the success of the fair.
The first Women International Trade Fair (SIFEM) helped to unearth the greatest names in music, arts and fashion
UNESCO, in conjunction with the African Union, welcomed this bold initiative which is one of the most remarkable and innovative projects carried out on the African continent between 1985 and 1992. Since then, several participants to this maiden fair have initiated other cultural and artistic events across the world.
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The consecration of the first Women International Trade Fair (SIFEM) in 1989 served as a springboard for the event in 2012