This year, the Manufacturing Indaba’s theme is Untapped Potential – The Growth and Development of Manufacturing and Industrialisation to Unlock Africa’s Potential.
Event organiser Siyenza Management MD Liz Hart points out that the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area – a single market for goods and services in Africa aimed to unlock manufacturing potential and facilitate industrialisation – last year, is driving sustainable growth and job creation.
She cites author and management consulting company McKinsey and Company associate partner Irene Sun who considers Africa to be “the world’s next great manufacturing centre”. Hart believes this tendency should create enormous opportunity for Africa and mentions that it is estimated that, by 2030, business-to-business spending in manufacturing in Africa is projected to reach $666.3-billion.
The conference, now in its sixth iteration, will continue to provide a platform for informative and interactive sessions with the prime stakeholders of the manufacturing sector which include government, manufacturers, production managers, financiers, policymakers, industrial leaders, academia and potential investors.
The event also intends to highlight the incentives that will enable the growth of manufacturers. Further, opportunities and challenges in manufacturing will be debated, and like every year, the event will showcase manufacturers while assessing global trends and their impact on manufacturing, while focusing on the growth potential of key industry sectors.
“Emphasis will again be placed on the development and growth of black industrialists, key to developing emerging black-owned manufacturing businesses in the local economy,” Hart adds.
She highlights that South Africa has an established, resilient and diversified manufacturing base that competes competently in the global economy, however, more needs to be done to support manufacturing, which has the potential to significantly accelerate the country’s growth and development.
The conference programme will include plenary sessions as well as breakaway debate sessions to unpack and encourage active participation to facilitate existing and potential growth opportunities. Moreover, there will be a major focus on expansion into the rest of the continent. Hart notes that increased participation by several African countries is already evident thereby expanding the South African market into the vast African market.
Some of the key aspects that will be discussed at the Indaba include efficiencies in manufacturing and how this can help manufacturers grow and become more profitable.
Manufacturing is an important driver of economic growth through job creation and long-term evidence and economic trends show that the manufacturing sector plays a central role in creating employment both directly and indirectly, Hart comments. “Therefore, the Manufacturing Indaba is designed specifically for private and public company representatives to hear from industry experts as they unpack the challenges and work towards finding solutions for growth across the manufacturing sectors.”
Moreover, management consulting company A.T. Kearney will host the Factory of the Year Competition for the first time as part of the Manufacturing Indaba. It is a competition for manufacturers, and participants will be benchmarked against more than 2 000 best-in-class factories in 30 countries.
Siyenza Management is expecting 600 delegates and 3 500 visitors this year. Some of the notable exhibitors are metering products and solutions provider Nyamazela Metering, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Science and Technology and the Small Enterprise Development Agency.
Hart notes that last year’s Manufacturing Indaba enjoyed intensified support for the manufacturing sector from government and in particular from the DTI. She says this was made evident by the prominence of the large exhibition stand of the DTI and the sizeable representation of the DTI officials who were available throughout the conference for consultation.
The Industry 4.0/Internet of Things Conference was introduced at last year’s event and she comments that this year’s event intends to work towards encapsulating and showcasing the vision for 2030 of businesses embracing digitalisation from end to end.
The Manufacturing Indaba will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, from June 25 to 26.
“The Manufacturing Indaba impetus is available to encourage manufacturers to enter new markets as well as establish cutting-edge solutions and business models to grow competitive and sustainable businesses, which ultimately will contribute to the growth of their pertinent markets and economies,” Hart concludes.