08 May - 09 May 2025
Geneva Switzerland

TabExpo was back with a bang in 2023 and we can't wait to land in beautiful Geneva in 2025, the home of some of the world's largest cigarette companies.

WVS - Meet the Buyer UK

WVS - Meet the Buyer UK

08 May 2024
East Side Rooms, Birmingham, UK

A unique opportunity for UK brands, retailers, and distributors to meet at an intimate networking event.

WVS - Meet the Buyer Asia

WVS - Meet the Buyer Asia

05 February 2024
Sofitel, Manila, Philippines

A unique opportunity for brands, retailers, and distributors in the Philippines to meet at an intimate networking event.

WVS - Meet the Buyer Europe

WVS - Meet the Buyer Europe

16 April 2024
The Westin, Warsaw, Poland

A unique opportunity for brands, retailers, and distributors in Poland to meet at an intimate networking event.

Patrick Devenish, TIMB Chairman Speech

Patrick Devenish, TIMB Chairman Speech


  1. The Master of ceremony.

  2. Our Guest of Honor, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Hon. Dr Anxious Jongwe Masuka.

  3. Heads of Government Departments and parastatals.

  4. Tobacco professionals from across the world.

  5. Fellow TIMB Board members and Staff;

  6. Representatives of tobacco companies, auction floors and other industry service providers.

  7. Leaders of farmers’ unions and associations.

  8. Tobacco farmers.

  9. Members of the press.

  10. Ladies and gentlemen.

Good morning to you all.

  1. It is an honor to welcome you all to the prestigious World Tobacco Africa Expo.

  2. Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to witness the first ever all new Africa Leaf Tobacco Conference alongside an exhibition of suppliers to the industry organized by Quartz Business Events in partnership with the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB).

  3. As the Board Chairman of the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB), I am delighted to see such a diverse gathering of industry leaders, experts, and enthusiasts who have come together to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and explore the latest advancements in the tobacco sector.

  4. The World Tobacco Africa Expo provides us with a unique platform to discuss and address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in our industry. It is a momentous occasion to engage in fruitful conversations, forge new partnerships, and showcase innovations that will shape the future of the tobacco sector in Africa and beyond.

  5. The Zimbabwe Government regards the tobacco industry as a sector that has great potential to grow. To foster this growth, the Government approved the implementation of a Tobacco Value Chain Transformation Plan whose main thrust is to transform the tobacco value chain into a US$5 billion industry by 2025 through increased production and productivity, localisation of tobacco production financing, value addition and beneficiation and exports of cigarettes in order to contribute significantly to GDP growth, foreign currency generation, employment creation and raising household incomes in pursuit of Vision 2030.

  6. Africa has a rich heritage and a long-standing relationship with tobacco. From the cultivation of the finest tobacco leaves to the art of blending and crafting premium tobacco products, this continent has played a significant role in the global tobacco industry. Today, Africa stands as a vital market and a hub for innovation, reflecting the drive and potential that exists within our diverse nations.

  7. Zimbabwe is ranked 5th in the leading raw tobacco producing countries in the world. Last year in 2023, a total of 296 million kilograms of tobacco was produced of which 68% was produced by small scale farmers. Annually, Zimbabwe exports over 200 million kilograms of unmanufactured tobacco. The biggest export destination, with 47% being the Far East. Of which China takes 69% of the Far East exported tobacco.

  8. However, as we gather here today, we are also aware of the evolving landscape and the challenges we face. The tobacco industry is undergoing significant transformations, driven by changing consumer preferences, evolving regulatory frameworks, and increasing demands for sustainable practices. It is imperative that we adapt and evolve to meet these challenges head-on.

  9. As we all know, the tobacco industry has a significant environmental footprint, from land use for cultivation to the carbon emissions resulting from processing and transportation. It is crucial that we address these challenges by promoting sustainable farming practices, reducing water usage, implementing energy-efficient technologies, and exploring alternatives to traditional curing methods. By mitigating our environmental impact, we can contribute to the preservation of natural resources and ecosystems.

  10. I commend the Zimbabwe tobacco industry for working hard in coming up with innovative solutions to address sustainability challenges within our sector. One such initiative is the Gas Curing technology where trials were successfully run on liquified petroleum gas in March this year. We are anticipating beginning biogas trials in the coming season. This is a huge milestone, and it will go a long way in addressing deforestation and reducing our carbon footprint.

  11. At this Expo, we must embrace innovation, invest in research and development, and explore alternative products that align with emerging consumer trends.

  12. The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) has also initiated GLOBALG.A.P. Consultancy to support the production of export oriented alternative crops to tobacco. The initiative is meant to make the consultancy services reachable to our farmers in terms of cost and availability.

  13. In addition, value addition remains key to our industry. Currently, tobacco value addition into cigarettes is at 2% of production as we work towards attaining 30% by 2025. I am pleased to announce the work being done by Gold Leaf Services to expand our cigarette manufacturing capacity. The new factory will see a jump of more than 40% of cigarette production. Besides smoking tobacco products like cigarettes, opportunities exist in new generation of tobacco products like e-cigarettes, e-vapors, nicotine pouches, shisha which are gaining popularity among the youth.

  14. Collaboration is key to our collective success. I encourage each one of you to seize this opportunity to network, connect, and collaborate with industry peers, government representatives, and experts from various fields. Together, we can forge partnerships that foster growth, drive innovation, and create shared value for all stakeholders involved.

  15. I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers, sponsors, and exhibitors who have made this event possible. Your support and dedication have contributed to the success of the World Tobacco Africa Expo, and we are grateful for your commitment to advancing our industry.

  16. Finally, I extend my warmest wishes to all participants. May this Expo be a source of inspiration, knowledge sharing, and meaningful connections that will propel our industry toward a sustainable and prosperous future.
  17. I wish you all a productive and rewarding World Tobacco Africa Expo.

Thank you / Siyabonga / Tatenda


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