Johannesburg, South Africa, 1 - 5 March 2004


Conference Arrangements

1. The 23rd FAO Regional Conference for Africa will be held at Sandton Convention Centre from 1 to 5 March 2004. The inaugural ceremony of the plenary session will take place at Sandton Convention Centre at 10.00 hours on 04 March 2004.

2. The normal working hours of the conference will be 9.00 hours to 12.00 hours and 14.30 hours to 17.30 hours, unless otherwise decided by the conference.

3. An "Order of the Day" will be issued daily, giving detailed information of the conference business, the timetable of meetings items to be discussed and other information of general interest.

4. The Provisional Agenda ARC/04/1 has been circulated with the invitation letter.

5. FAO will provide the Secretary of the Conference, assisted by a number of FAO staff whose names and functions will be included in a list to be issued on the first day of the conference.

Working Languages

6. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in Arabic, English, French and Spanish. The documentation will be issued in French and in English.

Press Liaison and Information

7. For the duration of the conference, an FAO Information Officer, assisted by a Press Officer of the Government of the Republic of South Africa, will provide contacts with the press and be responsible for matters concerning information to the public.

8. Journalists will be provided with accreditation by the Department of Agriculture. An accreditation desk will be in place at the Conference venue and journalists are requested to bring two passport size photographs and a letter of assignment from their editor or employer.


9. The working documents will be sent to all governments and organisations invited, before the holding of the Conference. Documents drafted during the conference will be available at the documents distribution desk, outside the Conference hall. The desk will also deliver mail and messages and deal with general inquiries.

Draft recommendations and amendments

10. Delegates who wish to submit draft recommendations or other documents requiring a decision by the Conference are requested to hand their texts in French or English to the Conference Secretary, if possible in three typewritten copies. Delegates wishing to circulate other written material related to the Agenda of the Conference are requested to deliver 15 copies in Arabic, 30 copies in English and French, and 5 copies in Spanish to the Secretariat for distribution.

Advance communications of text of speeches and statements

11. When prepared speeches or statements are to be made, it would help the Secretariat and ensure accuracy in interpretation, if the typed copies of the texts were handed to the Secretariat of the Conference beforehand.

12. All correspondence concerning the Regional Conference should be addressed to:

The Conference Secretary

Mr. Madhy Bamba
Conference Secretary at the FAO Regional Office for Africa,
P.O. Box 1628, Accra, Ghana
Cable: FOODAGRI, Accra, Ghana
Telex: 2139 FOODAGRI, Accra, Ghana
Fax: (233-21) 7010943/7010944
Tel: (233-21) 7010930
E-mail: [email protected]


The Liaison Officer

Ms. Vangile Titi
Deputy Director General
Programme Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
Department of Agriculture
Private Bag X250
Agriculture Building, 20 Beatrix Street
Pretoria, South Africa
Tel: (27)12 3197290/319-6801
Telefax: (27) 12 319 7939
Email: [email protected] ; [email protected] [email protected]

During the conference the address is:

Mr. Madhy Bamba
Conference Secretary
23rd FAO Regional Conference for Africa
c/o Sandton Convention Centre
Maude Street Sandown 2196
PO Box 782553 Sandton 2146 South Africa
Tel +27 11 779 0000 / Fax +27 11 779 0001

Email: [email protected]


Dr. W.Q-B West
FAO Representative in South Africa
FAO Representation in South Africa
Tel: (27) 12 3548530,8525,8528,
Fax: (27) 12 354-8531/320-2646
Pretoria, South Africa
E-mail: [email protected] ; [email protected]

Conference Venue

13. The Sandton Convention Centre is situated in Sandton, a separate, self-sufficient metropolitan node in the Gauteng Province, South Africa’s place of gold, and the economic powerhouse of Southern Africa. Sandton is centrally placed just north of Johannesburg’s inner city area and is within easy driving distance of Johannesburg International Airport and Pretoria. The Sandton Convention Centre is easily accessible from the area’s main roads and highways, and directional signage at regular intervals guides motorists to their destinations.

Formalities for entry into the Republic of South Africa (SA)

14. All visitors to South Africa must hold valid passports. Citizens of countries that require visas for South Africa should obtain these beforehand at the appropriate South African diplomatic or consular offices abroad. Visa applications and passports may be forwarded to the relevant South African Mission by courier service or travel agent. It takes ten working days to process a visa application. Applications should be accompanied with the necessary visa fees in respect of countries whose passport holders are subject to visa fees. UN Laissez-Passer holders are exempt from visa requirements. Visas are not issued at the airport, and under no circumstances should a person travel to South Africa without a visa.

15. Travellers arriving in SA coming from infected areas would require a valid international certificate of vaccination against yellow fever. The Yellow Fever vaccination card is now a mandatory requirement to travel to South Africa. There will be a control post upon arrival at the Johannesburg International Airport to ensure the validity of these vaccinations. Participants failing to provide proof thereof will be required to submit to a vaccination at a fee prior to entry into the country.

Registration and Accreditation

16. All delegates and observers are requested to register, soon after arrival, at The Conference Site (Sandton Convention Centre) so that they can be provided with identification tags/badges, which will permit them entry into the meeting venues in the SCC. All Observers, invited Guests, all other delegates, support staff and protection officers will be issued with security badges that will determine their access into designated areas in the Sandton Convention Centre. The registration desk will be open on Sunday 29 February 2004 from 15.00 hours to 19.00 hours and on Monday 1 March 2004 from 08.00 hours. The Conference secretariat will issue a Provisional List of participants on the first day of the Conference. The secretariat should be notified of any corrections or additions to this list.

17. Agriculture Ministers/Heads of Delegation will also be issued with security badges and special pins that will give them access to the relevant venues and events.

Communication Services

18. Postal, telephone, telex and facsimile services will be provided at the Conference premises as well as a travel and tourist information desk. In addition, there are three private cellular network companies – VODACOM, MTN and CELL-C, operate the mobile cellular telephone services in South Africa. All three use the GSM standard and other fax, data transmission and voice mail, in addition to the regular voice transmission service. Cellular phones may be rented from a number of service providers with rental points in and around Sandton and Johannesburg International Airport.

Medical and Health Services

19. Medical services facilities equipped with a doctor and a nurse will be provided at the SCC, and efforts will be made to ensure that those needing medical care have access to it. Johannesburg, including Sandton boasts of hospitals that are of world class and these will be readily accessible for admissions or special medical requirements. Ambulances and emergency medical response vehicles will be dedicated to the event and operate on a 24-hour basis. Delegates are encouraged to obtain medical travel insurance from a reputable organisation, as private health care is only accessible on a cash basis or upon producing medical travel insurance. State health facilities, although more affordable than private health care, still has to be paid for.

20. The authorities of SA will make special arrangements for participants on their arrival, assist them with formalities regarding immigration, visas, customs, collection of luggage and provide them with transport to their respective hotels. Similar arrangements will be made at the end of the Conference. Participants are advised to provide advance notice, at least 3 weeks prior to arrival, of the name of carrier, flight number, time of arrival and other related information to the Liaison Officer in SA to ensure that they are properly met on arrival at the Johannesburg International Airport. Participants are advised to mark their luggage clearly in order to facilitate identification.

21. Delegates who fail to inform the Conference Secretariat of their flight details, will be liable for the cost of their own airport transfer. No refunds in such cases will be considered. Additional transport may be hired by delegations at their own expense. Rental vehicles are available in Johannesburg through well-known companies. Drivers must have valid driving licences, which carry a photograph of the holder, and is either printed or authenticated in English. South Africa recognises international driving permits issued under the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic. Delegations requiring additional chauffeur-driven vehicles can arrange this through car hire companies.

22. Please note for departures, the check-in time for international flights is two hours prior to departure and one hour prior to departure for domestic flights. The time from your hotel to the Johannesburg International Airport is approximately 40 minutes. Please allow sufficient time. However, to avoid any inconvenience, delegations are requested to inform the Logistics Co-ordinator of departure dates and times of their Heads of delegations and of other members of delegations.

Security Issues

23. Security will be provided for the conference participants at the Sandton Convention Centre. Under no circumstances will weapons be allowed into the premises of the Convention Centre. However, like all other countries, there are certain security considerations that people need to be aware and take cognisance of. In this case, it is advisable, for everyone to be vigilant at all times, stay alert, while walking, driving or stationery at the robots (traffic lights), off ramps intersections, always be aware of your surroundings, whether leaving the conference centre, hotel or shopping centre. While driving in a car, items such as handbags, briefcases, purses or cell phones should not be placed in the front passenger seat or anywhere in the vehicle where they are in full view of anyone outside the car. Avoid asking strangers of anything including direction for where you would like to go. Always ask such information from the hotel, the Conference Secretariat Office and clearly defined information office.

Foreign exchange and banking, communication facilities, and travel/tourist office

24. There is no restriction on the amount or kind of foreign currency or travellers cheques which may be imported to SA. The foreign exchange desk and banks will provide the necessary information and measures of exchange rates and transfer. A bank/foreign exchange desk will be available on the conference premises and most banks in Sandton have cash dispensing machines accepting Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus. Most internationally recognised currencies and travellers cheques can be exchanged at commercial banks, hotels and international airports. Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and shops. Bureau de Change facilities are also widely available. The monetary unit is the South African Rand. At the time of going to press the exchange rate is approximately 6.70 to 1 United States Dollar. Banking hours are from 09:00 to 15:30 on weekdays and from 08:30 to 11:00 on Saturdays.

25. There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that may be imported into South Africa by individual non-residents, provided that it is declared on arrival to facilitate the exportation thereof on departure.

Business and Shopping Hours

26. Offices and businesses are generally open from 08:00 hours to 17:00 hours, Monday to Friday. Shopping hours vary but most shops are open from 09:00 hours to 17:00 hours Monday to Friday and from 09:00 hours to 17:00 on Saturdays and in and around Sandton, there are certain stores that close at 19h00. Some shops are open on Sundays between 09:00 hours to 17:00.

Value-added Tax

27. Value-added tax (VAT) is charged on most goods and services except when purchased in duty-free shops at international airports. The current rate is 14%. On presentation of the goods and tax invoices, VAT may be claimed at international airports.

1Hotel accommodation

28. The Conference Secretariat has arranged accommodation for conference delegates ranging from 5-Star hotels that are on par with the best in the world to more economic hotels. Delegates are urged to make accommodation bookings without delay in order to avoid disappointment. For all accommodation bookings and enquiries, please complete the registration form or contact the Conference Liaison Officer, Pretoria, South Africa, with a copy to Conference Secretariat in Accra (see paragraph 12 above), not later than 15 February 2004.

29. The conference secretariat has negotiated good prices for the delegates who book through the conference Secretariat. All hotels have guaranteed that the rates quoted are the best group rates available at the time of going to print. Please note delegates are required to settle their own accounts with their hotel on their departure including meals, bar, tips, telephone, laundry, etc.

Hotel rates  
Hotel Choice

 Rate per night



30. Johannesburg is located between latitude 30 and 25 degrees south of the equator and is 1763metres above sea level.


31. During the month of March the weather in Johannesburg is warm-to, with temperatures ranging from a minimum of 14C to a maximum of 27C. However some rain may occur, and it is advisable to bring some warm clothing.

Time Zone

32. The country is on GMT + 2 Time Zone.


33. The voltage in Johannesburg is 220vAC,50Hz. Electrical sockets are rounded three pronged.


34. Limited amounts of duty free items are allowed to visitors, but they must be declared. Professional articles and samples, including those imported by businessmen and commercial travellers, items like cameras (film), photographic equipment, radio equipment and sound recording apparatus, and equipment imported by foreign correspondents or any other specialized materials imported for professional use or sporting fire arms are subject to special authorization.


1 Information on hotels is tentative, we are awaiting final decision from the Department of Agriculture.




1. Name: ________________________________________________________

Family name

Given name

2. Country/Organization: _____________________________________________
3. Title and position: ________________________________________________
4. Address (postal and cable):  ________________________________________
5. Attending as:       □  Delegate         Observer         Secretariat
6. Accompanied by spouse:         □    Yes             □  No
  Name of spouse:  ________________________________________________
7. Dates of anticipated stay in Johannesburg:  _____________ to  _____________
8. Arrival information:    Date:  ___________   Hour:    _____________
  Airline and flight No:   ____________   From (city):   ________________
9. Hotel accommodation desired:          □    Single           □    Double
10. Please indicate hotel names by order of preference: A  ________ B:  ______

NOTE: Each participant is required to complete the above form in duplicate and send one copy to each of the addresses below as soon as possible, preferably one month before the Conference, even if complete flight information is unavailable. You may cable, fax or e-mail flight information details at a later date.

a. The Conference Liaison Officer

Ms. Vangile Titi
Deputy Director General
Programme Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
Department of Agriculture
Private Bag X250
Agriculture Building, 20 Beatrix Street
Pretoria, South Africa
Tel: (27)12 3197290
Telefax: (27) 12 319 7939


b. The Conference Secretary

Mr. Madhy Bamba
FAO Regional Office for Africa
P.O. Box 1628 Accra
Cable: FOODAGRI, Accra, Ghana
Telex: 2139 FOODAGRI, Accra, Ghana
Fax (233-21) 7010943/7010944
Tel: 233-21 7010930
E-mail: [email protected]




The following hotels are available for use by participants