One of the most modern trade fair centres in the world is rising on the banks of the Blue Nile at Burri, on the outskirts of Khartoum in the Sudan.
One of the most modern trade fair centres in the world is rising on the banks of the Blue Nile at Burri, on the outskirts of Khartoum in the Sudan. Last-minute work is underway to get the centre ready in time for the first Khartoum International Fair, which will open there on 19 January. Although some sections of the week-long fair will remain unfinished, most of the buildings will be able to house the 200 companies and international organisations from 31 nations, which will be taking part.
SYNOPSIS: The idea for the fair was conceived more than three years ago and enthusiastically taken up by President Jaafar Nimeiri's government. They want to have a permanent site ready to take at least one international exhibition annually.
Sudan has already been asked to be host for the Third African Trade Fair in 1980, by which time the present site will be fully developed with trees and palms. The area around the centre, which once was desert, will be open throughout the year as a permanent parkland.
More than 2,000 people have been working for two years by day, and under floodlights at night, to prepare the site. The crowning glory of the complex will be the Sudanese pavilion, which will have the biggest single span roof frame in the world.
It stretches 66 square metres (710 Sq Ft) unsupported by central pillars.
The whole operation will cost an estimated seven to 11 million dollars.