Opposite the entrance to the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), where the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF Africa) was held this week, was a giant Absa-branded dome which the banking group built for the occasion. It highlighted the point - which the great and the good who meet at the WEF often make - that the forum is less about what happens inside than outside.

The dome hosted presentations and events and provided a base for Absa's executives to meet clients and others. But its primary intent was simply to be noticed by the participants from other African countries, who knew the old Barclays name under which the bank used to trade on the continent, and are only now getting to know the new and unfamiliar Absa brand.

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