The Nigeria Association for Water Condition Improvement (AWCI) will this year make its debut appearance at the Watertec Africa expo. This expo forms part of the 2015 South Africa Industry and Technology Fair (Indutec), which takes place at Midrand’s Gallagher Convention Centre from May 20 to 22.
AWCI executive secretary Daniel Foluso Ogedengbe says that attending the exhibition is part of the association’s quest to find modern solutions to solve the country’s pressing water challenges.
“We heard about Watertec Africa from our conference and exhibition department and realised it would be a great event for discovering new water management technology and product suppliers,” he explains.
Indutec events organiser and Exhibition Management Services (EMS) director John Thomson says that, as Africa’s leading industrial trade exhibition of equipment and services in the water industry, Watertec Africa is the best platform for the association to seek solutions.
“We are very excited to have the Nigerian delegation visiting Watertec Africa. The Watertec Africa expo showcases all the products, technology and services they need to solve water issues on a continental level,” he adds.
Ogedengbe says that the AWCI’s delegation will specifically be looking for ozone and industrial reverse-osmosis (RO) treatment solutions for Nigeria’s domestic, industrial and municipal sectors. RO is a technique used around the world to purify water for daily use.
“Nigeria’s water sector faces severe challenges; we are looking at the desalination of seawater for drinking [purposes] in coastal areas, upgrading the efficiency of utilities and regulatory bodies, and sourcing adequate financing,” he explains.
A 2010 World Bank report states that water production facilities in Nigeria are rarely operated to full capacity owing to broken dam equipment and a lack of fuel for pumping.
Further, water and sanitation coverage rates in Nigeria are among the lowest in the world. The AWCI carries out assessments in the water sector to identify problem areas to find lasting solutions to acute water issues in affected areas.
“We also work in conjunction with other local and foreign water organisations to organise, facilitate and sponsor water-related seminars, conferences and symposia. These events take place inside and outside the country, and create a forum for the enhancement and development of the region’s and the nation’s water sector,” details Ogedengbe.
Thomson says that Nigeria’s water challenges are not prevalent in West Africa only, adding that only 10% of industries in East Africa treat their wastewater.
“Most of the agroprocessing industries release their industrial waste into rivers and dams and onto open land without any treatment, which poses a threat to communities and water fauna in the areas. “ Watertec Africa has the versatility to act as a forum to raise awareness around these and other issues, and showcase the latest technologies to address them. “It is also an excellent business opportunities networking platform for all stakeholders in the water industry,” he adds.
Black Business Council Backs Empowertec
The Black Business Council (BBC) will this year participate for the first time at the Empowertec Africa expo, which forms part of Indutec, BBC president Ntsele Ndaba says.
The three-day Empowertec Africa expo focuses on addressing sustainable enterprise development to build viable businesses and develop committed entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities.
“We are excited to be part of this show, as it aligns perfectly with our focus [on the promotion of] the incubation of small businesses and the black industrialists development programme in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry,“ Ndaba adds.
BBC is the overarching confederation repre- senting professional and business associations and chambers for black businesspeople. Its main purpose is to lobby government on policy and advocacy in order to accelerate the participation of black South Africans in the mainstream economy. Its focus is on job creation, skills acqusition, mentorship, knowledge transfer and the creation of enabling platforms and opportunities for committed entrepreneurs.
“To this end, we have prioritised the following sectors: manufacturing, energy, water and waste treatment, recycling and the green economy; these sectors have concurrent government support programmes to which we can add impetus,” notes Ndaba.
Thomson, meanwhile, says that that this year’s Empowertec Africa will be bigger and better, with more opportunities for small businesses. He says it will also be a platform for the BCC to find business opportunities and contacts for its members.
“We are excited to have the BBC on board Empowertec Africa, as this will help us improve the show even more and give exhibitors the perfect platform to showcase their products and services to black entrepreneurs and professionals, which is a booming market segment,” he concludes.