Water and the need for conservation will be the main focus of the Guinea pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.
It will be the first time at a World Expo that Guinea will have its own pavilion and it has invested an estimated $2 million to bring the message to Dubai.
The country has been part of several World Expos including in Milan, Shanghai and Hanover, but never had its own space.
The Dubai Expo organisers committed to host a World Fair where each country would have its own pavilion.
“It is a very important Expo because Guinea has its own pavilion. This is the perfect place to share Guinean stories,” Gabriel Curtis, Guinea's Minister of Investments and Public Partnership, told The National.
“At Expo 2020 Dubai, our country will for the very first time have its own pavilion to showcase its sustainable economic development.
“For many people, Expo 2020 Dubai will be their first occasion to explore Guinea."
Mr Curtis, who is also commissioner general of the pavilion, said the aim was to highlight urban water renewal strategies.
“The pavilion is interactive and at its core is a call to action,” he said.
Entitled "Tap into the Source of West Africa", the theme will be centred on showing visitors how they play a vital role in preserving water and can reduce consumption.
Billions of people around the world suffer from poor access to water, which affects sanitation and hygiene, increasing transmission of diseases, the World Health Organisation said.
About 2.2 billion people do not have safely managed drinking water supplies and 3 billion lack the basic ability to wash their hands, a 2019 report said.
Studies have shown the poorest communities often spend the highest percentage of their income on water.
Mr Curtis said Expo 2020 Dubai was crucial to revive trade and the global economy during the first major international event amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Expo 2020 Dubai is even more crucial today than ever as it will be the perfect way to bring together thinkers to tackle global challenges, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects,” he said.
“In this spirit, the Guinea pavilion features a co-creation lab where people from all corners of the world will come together to think about global challenges and propose solutions.”
Companies and organisations from Guinea would be involved in three theme weeks during Expo, relating to travel, agriculture and water.
The country plans to hold conferences and investment forums as hybrid events to enable participation by those who cannot make it to Dubai.
The pavilion is near the UAE structure and Al Wasl Plaza, the centrepiece of the site.
“We hope that this, allied with the engaging narrative of the pavilion, will attract at least 100,000 visitors,” Mr Curtis said.
The structure is 85 per cent complete and the multimedia content is being finished. Encouraging tourism, investment and promoting local products are among the objectives.
Guinea has significant natural resources, including large reserves of iron ore, gold and diamonds that attract foreign investment.
Energy and the agricultural sector are just some of the areas where the country seeks to deepen ties with the UAE.