In partnership with the Government of Gabon, the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is organising a training session in Libreville on 13-15 February. Dedicated to participation in and the organisation of Expos, this first multilateral session of the Capacity Building Programme will gather representatives from across the region.

The three-day workshop aims to facilitate preparations for upcoming Expos, including the next World Expo, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, which opens its gates on 13 April 2025.

Participants will take part in thematic sessions led by the BIE, centred around the process of organising Expos, the advantages of participating in Expos and the operational aspects of organising an Expo pavilion. Representatives of upcoming Expos including World Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, Specialised Expo 2027 Belgrade, and World Expo 2030 Riyadh will also lead dedicated sessions. This will offer participants valuable insights into the technical specifications and opportunities provided by these international events, in which participating countries craft immersive visitor experiences based around themes of global importance.

The Capacity Building Programme is a BIE initiative aimed at supporting its 182 Member States and notably providing countries with additional knowledge and specific technical know-how regarding participation in Expos and the organisation of Expos. The aim of this programme is to support the engagement of Member States in Expos and in the workings of the BIE, therefore fostering the best possible conditions for Expos to serve as attractive and effective platforms for multilateral cooperation, public diplomacy and the education of the public. First launched in 2020, the programme was initially held online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The session to be held in Gabon is the first session to take place in person and to gather representatives from several countries.

The Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri S. Kerkentzes stated: “The Capacity Building Programme involves sharing expertise and knowledge in order to enhance the quality of Expos for the benefit of participants and visitors alike. We are delighted for this session to be hosted in Gabon, giving countries from across the region the opportunity to optimise the impact of their participation in these mega-events and thus further contribute to sharing the success of Expos”.

Gabon participated for the first time at an International Exhibition at World Expo 1967 Montreal. The country joined the BIE in 2007. Present at numerous World and Specialised Expos, its participation has been rewarded on multiple occasions, including a Silver Award for theme interpretation at most recent World Expo, Expo 2020 Dubai.

The next World Expo, Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai, is being held between 13 April and 13 October 2025 under the theme “Designing Future Society for Our Lives”. The next Specialised Expo, Expo 2027 Belgrade, will take place between 15 May and 15 August 2027 in Belgrade, Serbia, under the theme “Play for Humanity – Sport and Music for All”. World Expo 2030 will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from 1 October 2030 to 31 March 2031 under the theme “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow”.